Posts tagged with "guitar"

a quiet moment

I took a break from gui­tar. Not a con­scious deci­sion, just days that were busy enough that I didn’t think of pick­ing her up, which means I don’t even know how long I’d stopped. All I know is that it was long, cause I feel the strings vibrat­ing through every piece of wood that touches my body now, one of those sen­sa­tions you stop notic­ing after enough time.

I haven’t had much to say either. Nothing seems impor­tant. At the same time, I’m try­ing to move away from this social media over­load, where so many peo­ple speak only cause the power to do makes them believe they should. It’s mak­ing the gaps between my entries longer and longer, and I won­der if I’ll even­tu­ally stop writ­ing altogether.

getting dressed

All I have are mem­o­ries of lives I lived so long ago that I feel like I’m watch­ing them in 8mm. The friends and the lovers, the love and the hate, the cycles and the pat­terns. I’m only now sort­ing out the mean­ing of each one, maybe cause I’ve finally grown enough to under­stand myself and my rela­tion­ship with the world at large. It’s com­fort­ing to see how far I’ve come when com­par­ing the per­son I am now to each per­son I used to be.

But such progress came at the cost of my inno­cence; we aren’t always ready to learn the harder lessons, and sur­viv­ing some­times means we change in ways that pre­vent us from becom­ing the peo­ple we’re meant to be. I’m try­ing to take back that inno­cence now, cause I know my hap­pi­ness is at stake.

torpor

The hol­i­day sea­son is offi­cially over when it doesn’t feel right to watch Christmas spe­cials of Only Fools and Horses. The Trotter boys are out of their ele­ment, try­ing to strike it rich in exotic locales, and the Peckham flat is too far away for things to feel nor­mal. Still, watch­ing them makes me miss the UK more than ever. I’ve taken to episodes of Sherlock to get my dose of London nights until I can find a way to make it over there again.

girl in snow

Pointer of quarry, tamer of cats.

Over here, it’s been a faith­ful Canadian win­ter. Bouts of var­ied snow­fall, record-breaking lows, and a spot of freez­ing rain here and there. My gui­tar must be achingly dry as the mod­est humid­i­fier help­lessly fails to main­tain bal­ance against the con­stant churn of the furnace.

I’ve been pick­ing her up again, rebuild­ing my blis­ters and re-learning old songs. Sometimes I won­der how I was ever able to play cer­tain pas­sages, but know­ing I have before makes it eas­ier the sec­ond time around. This time it feels a lit­tle dif­fer­ent though. I have a bet­ter reach and a more con­fi­dent picky, along with some new pains that have found their way into my hands.

cat in cat bed

The cold that per­me­ates the house means Dolly prefers sleep­ing in her bed over any one spot, and I can carry her around with me from room to room to keep me com­pany. Byron is rarely far away. Even though he’s not as affec­tion­ate as Dolly, he’s still my cat in the way he comes to walk on me when I wake, and the rit­ual play­time we have after teeth are brushed.

With the cats form­ing a lit­tle nest wher­ever I go, and the view of ice and snow just out­side the win­dow, I have lit­tle rea­son to leave the house nowadays.

tides

I’ve been look­ing for new inspi­ra­tion and lis­ten­ing to as much new music as I can find recently. I haven’t dared go into much of my old music. I sup­pose that means I’m not yet com­pletely over some­thing or other. Thankfully, peo­ple send me new songs all the time (this gem cour­tesy of Mansour Chow), and often it keeps me going until the next addiction.

I haven’t picked up my gui­tar lately either. For the first time, the break has been self-imposed, though out of a desire to pur­sue other inter­ests more than any­thing else. Also pos­si­bly the fact that I lost two months of growth when I chipped my thumb­nail, and I’m not inter­ested in learn­ing any­thing that requires a thumbpick right now. Ever since my dad gave me Larissa as a birth­day present two years ago, I haven’t able to put her down until now. I’m hop­ing it’ll reset a few bad habits, and give me more focus when I start again.

Practicing gui­tar has been the one tan­gi­ble way in which I could tell I was improv­ing. Now that I’m tak­ing a break, I’ve been faced with an unset­tling sense of stag­nancy, cause I’ve always held self-improvement as one of my main rea­sons for liv­ing. But I’ve also real­ized that it’s not always pos­si­ble to con­tin­u­ally improve, so I’m try­ing to be happy with who I am at the moment, and accept that it’s nat­ural to go through cycles of growth and stag­nancy, pain and heal­ing, frailty and strength.

I want to know do I stay or do I go

So.

Filmed a great wed­ding yes­ter­day, one that left me tired and sore and much deserv­ing of a break. It’s a hazy Sunday morn­ing, and another day that it’ll feel like it’s above 40°C with the humid­ity. Working nearly 13 hours and turn­ing into a lit­tle pud­dle of Asian man means I’m con­sciously avoid­ing the out­doors today. I’ll be con­tent to sip my cof­fee and peer out the win­dow at the gen­tly sun­lit trees.

cat and drink on a hot day

Majel helps us taste-test cock­tails for the reception.

Even though it’s get­ting ever closer to her wed­ding, and Lisa has an increas­ing num­ber of things to get done, we’ve been able to see each other more lately. I’ve real­ized that it’s not good enough to have her meet my needs. I have to fill a cer­tain role in her life too. That’s what brings mean­ing to the rela­tion­ship, cause it means she appre­ci­ates me the way I want to be appre­ci­ated. So often, it feels like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I’m glad to have devel­oped a rit­ual get-together with Aaron too. When we don’t see each other one week, it feels like a year the next time we catch up. Tonight I’m head­ing over to his house for the start of bach­e­lor week, some­thing we’ve been excit­edly plan­ning for a while now. It’s the first time he’s had the house to him­self since the kids were born, so I’ll be stay­ing there for a few days of games, movies, bar­be­cue, and gen­eral guy stuff, com­ing back home to feed the kit­ties every now and then. We’re doing a six per­son Magic tour­ney tomor­row, my first in the Constructed for­mat, and everyone’s mak­ing new decks for the chance to open some M13 boost­ers. I think my deck con­cept is BRILLIANT and I can’t wait to try it out.

Chet Atkins has also been keep­ing me com­pany lately. I’m so glad to have found his instruc­tional DVD, where he talks with his old man charm about what he likes in each song and how to play them, phrase by phrase. I grew my thumb­nail out nice and long for nearly two months, cut it off for practicality’s sake dur­ing wed­ding sea­son, then imme­di­ately regret­ted the deci­sion. The elec­tric strings I’ve been using have a really flat, dull tone in the lower reg­is­ter, and since the bass line is so impor­tant in Chet’s arrange­ments, it’s like an entire part is miss­ing from any song I try to learn. I’m going to try learn­ing with a thumb pick, which is some­thing I’ve been avoid­ing for a while now cause I hate the loss of sen­si­tiv­ity (like a con­dom on your thumb), but hope­fully the com­pro­mise is worth it.

I have things to orga­nize, chores to do, errands to run, and a house to clean before I leave. For now, I’ll enjoy the rest of the morn­ing, wast­ing time.

this is my happy face

All i want to write about lately is sun­sets and awk­ward hugs and redis­cov­er­ing coconut mac­a­roons and under­wear and sec­ondish chances and grow­ing old and jus­tice and my new aware­ness of food indus­try issues and the smell of out­doors no mat­ter what the sea­son and want­ing to see Germany and my new Magic decks and that last date and how hard it is to do Street Fighter IV com­bos and pic­tures like this

golden girl

and not hav­ing to wear a coat any­more and hand­shakes after really close games and peo­ple being nice to me and feel­ing more com­fort­able with barre chords and what Geneviève wears and Breaking Bad and Nick Drake’s life and root beer floats and the sound of a melod­ica and pretty cats and open­ing boost­ers and the lux­ury of say­ing no and how weird it feels to drive some­where in your PJs and intro­duc­ing oth­ers to that aloe drink and the same old mem­o­ries that I still cher­ish and mini-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and walk­ing base­lines and being sur­rounded by such good peo­ple and hav­ing a PS3 and the time com­plex­ity of sort­ing algo­rithms and won­der­ing if it’s too late to call and how excited Ryan gets when I visit and the songs I want to write and my mem­o­ries of America and scented oils from the Body Shop and choco­late beers and the image of a gauzy dress in the sun.