Day 36: Learning Led


Right after my surgery I bought a little travel acoustic guitar, figuring I could teach myself to play while I was stuck in the house.

I also ordered a $275 pair of running shoes.

An umbrella with a built-in light.

And expensive tea picked by monkeys. (Which I’m pretty sure is just plain wrong, as I doubt they make even minimum wage).

NOTE: Morphine and Internet shopping don’t mix well.

Luckily, I shipped back most of the purchases during reduced med schedules and times of clarity. The guitar, however, I kept.  I fiddled with it a bit (no pun intended), learned a couple of chords, then quickly lost interest and put it on a stand in the corner where it collected dust and a draped sweater or two.

Today I eyed it, strolled over, and picked it up.  It actually felt lighter than I had remembered, which I’m going to attribute to the fact that I’m stronger now than when I last hoisted it nearly a year ago.

With all the viewings of The Silver Linings Playbook, I’ve head Led in my head, and I thought (with my usual delusions of grandeur) that I’d be able to somewhat easily strum out at least ONE of their songs.

To be fair, I’m a bit handy with the piano keys (again, no pun intended), so it’s not like I am a total blank when it comes to music…so even though I’ve never taken a guitar lesson, I figured I’d have a better chance at accomplishing this goal over anything that involved sharp, dagger-like objects (as my friend so kindly suggested yesterday).

I tried the above song, first… What Is and What Should Never Be, which, really, in the way it shifts between gentle and manic, is a perfect bipolar anthem. I got the first three couple of chords. Then it was clearly out of my league. Even in my delusional state I knew to move on.

Next I turned to Thank You, which, while not my fav Zeppelin song, was one I thought I might be able to master with a little determination and  a lot of sore fingertips.

While I am usually wrong, this time (perhaps to be the only time?) I was actually right. I could do it! I felt like Rudolph must’ve when he took off with the sleigh for the very first time.

.zz sleigh Rudolph-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-003

Oh, so, let’s be real: I could do the main chords, not all the fancy stuff in between. Seriously, come on; I said I was ok with music, not a genius.  Anyway, at least I’ve discovered that—should my 5K training fall flat—I can turn to the guitar and leave the knitting needles where they belong: In someone else’s hands.


Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.


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