When I was in middle school I did chorus to get out of some other class that I didn't want to take. I remember like it was yesterday the afternoon that I tried out for a solo. I sang "Your a Grand Old Flag".
It didn't go well.
I remember one of the kids that could sing came up to me afterwards and said, "Nice try." That make me feel GREAT. Actually it made me fee like crap. I couldn't sing...
Years later I tried to teach myself the piano with little to no success. Same thing with the guitar. I tried and I wanted to but just never really put forth the required effort.
For years I've day dreamed about picking up a guitar and playing for an audience. For years I'd sit in my car with the music loud and sing along like I could. It was always a pipe dream.
Then the moment came.
It was a goal written in a book. I was going to learn to play guitar.
For Christmas last year I got a cheap guitar. I picked up a book and I slowly started to learn. After a while I went and took a few lessons with my son. I discovered fairly quickly that I actually did have an aptitude after-all. I could play guitar.
A while later I found a better guitar at a garage sale.
Then I heard "Highway 20 Ride". I feel in love with the song last winter because it made me think of my dying father. He's two years into a desperate battle for his life. He has cancer and the end is near.
When I was a kid my dad used to do the "every other Friday" ride to get HIS son. The road wasn't hyw 20 but it was route 44. Different numbers but the same meaning.
I wanted to play this song for my dad.
My instructor taught me part of the song and I went on-line to learn the rest.
Then I got divorced and the song took on even more meaning in my life.
I learned to play and sing the song. A month ago with trembling hands I sat down in front of my ailing father. I played the song. He enjoyed it. The moment was touching. I had done it. I could play and sing.
One day this summer I had a moment of inspiration. When I'm inspired I often write. On this day I wrote a song. I wrote a song for the girl that I wanted ti be with. In a period of 90 minutes I had written her a song and composed music for the song on my guitar.
At the time she wasn't even talking to me. To me then it didn't matter. I wrote from my heart hoping and praying that I could play it for her someday. I practiced and practiced. Finally a couple of weeks ago I was able to play her the song. She liked the gesture but I still wasn't sure about the quality.
This weekend I learned a new song: "The Search is Over".
I kept practicing all my songs.
Last evening I stood before my girl and her three kids and I played my three songs. When I was done the youngest looked at me and said, "Mr. Rick. Can you play "Mom's Song" again?"
Words cannot describe how good that made me feel.
Music. I can play music....
....and play it well.