When the time is right.


I have grown to know a guitar. I spent many years maturing towards her, and now we have met. I tuned and retuned her countless times in my youth, but always returned it happily to its keeper. Though I have owned several lovely instruments in my life, this is the only one that came  unbidden, and unexpectedly, in to my hands. I am not her owner, but merely a custodian. We were reaquainted after many years apart, and the reunion was bittersweet. Nestled serenely in the crook of my left hand it brought with it not only a patina of dust, but a plethora of memories. So saturated was its russet surface that I felt loath to clean it, and when I bent to smell the convex back of the beauty, I could have wept for the times that the scent evoked. This instrument was and is a talisman of a wonderful lady, and is imbued with her beauty, grace and wisdom. Her voice echoes within it, without a doubt.

I am looking up at the delicate hourglass figure now, watching over the room as if a sentinel. She hangs suspended above the floodplain of toddler mischiefs, split strings now taut, her fractured machine heads  whole again, and her body thrums when I cough or if a lorry passes. After cleaning and polish, I entrusted her revivification to a repairer. In her refurbished state she does not seek attention, but all are drawn to her. Inexorably. She has a gentrified dignity, and the air of one who has suffered the slings and arrows of fortune to be granted a pleasant seat. At least I hope she feels so. I value any time spent playing her, and feel as though every exchange is a shaking hands with the past, and with that comes an embrace of the future. A promise that beings who endure will flourish.

I often play during the wee hours of the night, and it strikes me as I write now (in those same hushed hours), that this beauty has come to me at precisely the right time of life. Where once I may have adorned her hallowed a surface with stickers or meaningless monograms, I now worship her simple elegance, and hold true to this simplicity. I look upon her as I view myself: a receptacle of both blows and caresses, weathered but keen. In the tautness of her strings I feel my anxieties but also my strength, intertwining with the sounds of others. I greet her as an old friend, and will do so for as long as my hands are granted movement.


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