You know how people talk about how certain objects go through a “journey”, and they consider what that journey might have included?
The object in question for me is this guitar I have.
It’s a classical acoustic, with old, worn-out strings that somehow still function. The body is reddish, and it has an extra-wide neck compared to most guitars. If light shines on it the right way, you can see gentle strum lines carved into the body below the strings, but not deep enough to go through the finish. A Yamaha.
I have it for the sentimental value, and because I’m a guitarist. I picked it out of grandma’s house, when she was giving my grandpa’s possessions to the family recently. It came complete with a cheap and tired, but functional case, an old “learn guitar” book, and even “new” sets of strings.
When I got home and looked through the book that was in the case, I saw obvious clues that it didn’t go unused. I saw my grandpa’s infamous all-caps handwriting all over the place, in the form of margin notes and whatnot. It brought tears to my eyes, actually, because as I looked through the music, I could picture him playing and singing along cheerfully, with that deep, hearty voice he had.
But the weird part is, I never knew that he played until after his passing. Nobody ever mentioned it, and when I asked my family, they would either say that they had no idea he played, or that he barely touched the instrument, and wasn’t any good.
Every time I pick up that thing to give it some love (or attempt to- the neck was made for his massive hands, not mine), I get filled with curiosity. This guitar has more wear and tear than my own old acoustic has. He must have played more often than anyone knows.
When did he play? Did he only do this in private? To spend some alone time with music and God, perhaps? Did he continue playing until recently? Or did this instrument know of a time of the past, before I was around?
This guitar has a story, and it would be the only thing that would be able to share it with me, if it could speak… I sure wish I could hear it.