“So you’re saying that you’re ready to start dating now?” It was asked innocently enough, by someone well acquainted with the practice.
“Dating…” I hesitated. “That’s a funny word. And I’ve never been all that fond of it.” I took another sip of the Kentucky Mule. “Let’s just say that I’m open.”
“You’re open to exploring a relationship, then?” he asked.
“Yeah, that sounds about right.”
S p a c e is being made.
Eight days later, I sold my guitar. I remember distinctly that day in 1995, when I walked around a music store in Atlanta, surveying guitars. Row after row of dreadnoughts hung from the ceiling overhead. The Guild was mounted on the wall. It had been my first choice, but that was Sue’s fault. What did I know about guitars? Not very much. She had played a 12-string Guild, and had done it brilliantly. She used to tell me that I had “thonky” fingers. After all, my true instrument was always my voice. The guitar was just accompaniment. In the sound room, I plugged them in, one after the other. The Guild was dear, but it had the only bass sound that resonated in that deep space inside of me. More than the Martin. Certainly more than the Taylor and the much cheaper Ovation. What were they but names anyway?
The richness of the Guild astonished me. Not at all “tinny” like the round-bodied Ovation I left behind that day. Inside a molded black case, complete with strap and tuner, I carried my 6-string with me for 33 years. One of my favorite pictures was of me standing behind that guitar. Midnight jam sessions, beer and Bible studies, and the last day spent with my sister are just a few of the memories we created together. I never forgot that it was handcrafted. I always knew that it was beautiful. At one time, its dulcet tones defined me, now I have no instrument to hide behind. But then, I’ve lost the need for accompaniment.
Truth be told, I closed that guitar case the better part of three years ago, yet it still felt strange to let it go. The man who bought it played it for me, and as he did, he shared a seemingly endless stream of stories of the guitars he had owned lost and sold, then he insisted I would miss it. I have only ever owned three guitars, only ever loved one. Space is being made.
Seven days from now, my first novel will be available for purchase. It sat open on my desktop almost every day for a good 3-1/2 years, begging to be closed. It feels strange to let it go. Even before I have done it, really. The question, “What now?” keeps coming up. A marriage, childrearing, churchgoing, and a lifetime of music stand behind me. Now the novel too – almost. It sure feels like a lot of space. And for what? I have no clue. All part of the adventure, I suppose. The new normal that is now my life on the fly.
I may not know what is coming next, but I’m open.
2 thoughts on “Making Space”
Keep making space. It seems to be serving you well. I think I am with you in the same line regarding being open to relationships and yet, holding everything so very lightly. Do you understand what I mean? Your continuing evolution is a joy to witness.
I know exactly what you mean. Holding hope lightly, holding expectation lightly, even holding my desire lightly. Nothing to lose, nothing to fret about. Thanks for understanding and for making some space for me. It means more than I know how to say. ❤
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