I wish I played the fiddle . Or guitar , or banjo . Or flute or french horn or saxophone or clarinet . Oboe ? Perhaps . Or the penny whistle .
I tried guitar . I bought a good guitar about 1978 with the intention to learn . My friend Joe gave me a couple of lessons and then he told me that his suggestion would be that I stick with wind instruments . I eventually learned a few guitar chords . I had that guitar for fifteen years or more before I traded it to my sister for a camera . Maybe I could learn photography .
I finally gave my camera books which I had collected to another sister , who was actually learning photography, and I gave the camera back to the sister who’d traded it to me . By that time , unfortunately , the guitar was gone to Chicago , I heard . I hope it’s happy there in the Windy City and I hope that it takes good care and watches out for hog butchers and all of that . Some day I’ll go to Chicago , too .
I borrowed a guitar from a friend of mine , just to try guitar again . I learned a few chords . This time I bought an electronic tuner . Weeks go by and the stringed thing sits in it’s cardboard case . My friend has other guitars ; he doesn’t need this one . I check , periodically .
My original idea , a year or more ago when I borrowed the thing , was to test out my determination . If I felt like really learning guitar this time I would buy myself a decent starter guitar . That was the plan . Plans change , get put on hold , somehow slide into life’s omnipresent ether . Thoughts of buying a guitar have been put on hold , postponed , anesthetized for now .
A student at school years ago gave me a quick lesson on the violin one day after class . I thought : I could learn this ! ” Sure ” , he said , ” you could learn this .” I didn’t.
I had a banjo for a few years . I’d bought it at a garage sale , or in a thrift shop . I don’t remember for sure . It was cheap . Soon I realized that it wasn’t worth being repaired . I sold it , finally , to some enthusiastic guy like me , who had high hopes . I didn’t try to discourage him , but I gave him the hard facts about the broken banjo . He bought it anyway . Good luck , man ! Hope you at least get your money back when your garage sale rolls around .
Ada and I watched a video of a stand-up comedian last night . He had a bit about heaven — all you do in heaven is play the harp . So , I was thinking : probably no use trying to play the harp . If I were to get to heaven I’d have all of eternity to learn to play . That should be about enough time . But , if I should wind up in the other place , I know it’d be full of dudes like me endlessly and annoyingly practicing their three or four chords on various what-in-heaven- would- have- been-musical instruments .
This is a slow-motion tale of hope and possibility , moving on a forward path but gone temporarily astray from time to time , lost in the desert , perhaps , for weeks or months or years at a time . I know ; I know : that’s no way to run a railroad !
I’ve never seen the devil create music . —–Little Richard
I think I have time , though , to learn that guitar . St. Jerome said something like Haste is the Devil . And remember : Haste Makes Waste . And , how about : Fools Rush In Where Angles Fear To Tread ? Or : Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day . And , to paraphrase Willy Shakespeare : The man that hath no music in himself is a dull doofus . And , Martin Luther King said : We must accept finite disappointment , but never lose faith in infinite success , or something like that , although I know he wasn’t talking specifically about learning the guitar .