There was a time, way back when, that I played guitar for a very brief period. No idea why, but that’s what our prompt of “musical” brought to mind and so that’s where we ended up for today’s post. As a child of the 70’s, I was in love with the singer songwriters of the time. Amazingly talented people who could simply grab a guitar and write something catchy and incredible that moved my heart. Though I always wanted to play the guitar like they did, this wasn’t an instrument taught in my school so I ended up playing the violin instead. Don’t get wrong, I loved it, but a part of me still longed to strum a guitar and write songs. You can’t really sing along while playing a violin. It wasn’t until high school that the urge grew too much for me and I decided to try guitar. My dad bought me a mail order one which was delivered when we weren’t home and the postman strangely thought the best place to conceal it was under the car in the driveway. Luckily, we found it before someone backed over it, and I soon begin lessons. It was all a dream come true, until, months later, a car accident would change everything.

My guitar instructor was wonderful and introduced me to classical guitar music. This meant strumming with all fingers rather than using a guitar pick. I adored it and practiced like crazy, quickly becoming rather good, strumming my way through all kinds of wonderful music. Soon after, I began my last year of high school, excited to serenade my friends. But by the time the holiday season arrived, I was equally busy with lots of various holiday parties. I was President or Vice-President of several clubs and the end of the year meant hopping to various gatherings. It was driving home from the very last gathering, perhaps overly exhausted, that everything changed. I don’t quite remember what happened, but think I may have nodded off briefly, and suddenly there was a horrible sound of crushing metal and a fierce impact. I stumbled out of my crumpled car, still wearing a silly Christmas tie that played music. I don’t have many memories of what happened next. The clearest memory after that was waking up in a hospital bed with two fractured hips. And, also, a faint feeling of thinking how creepy it must have been for whoever found me to see a stumbling boy mumbling “help me” to a slow, tinny electronic rendition of Jingle Bells.

My head was bandaged when I awoke, my ear had been partially severed in the crash as well. It was restored, without any visible scarring, though I still like to think of it as my Van Gogh moment. Soon, a giant bag of letters and cards arrived. Apparently, news travels fast and when it travels through the grapevine, people often get things wrong. Many thought I was dead, but I still appreciated their kind thoughts and well wishes. Not many people have a chance to hear what someone might say about them after they are gone. But other than hobbling around on crutches for a few weeks, I was miraculously alive. One injury, however, was small yet devastating. The index finger of my right hand, was broken in several places. It healed only to a point, with limited moment. I could still hold a violin bow, but I now lacked the coordination required to strum my beloved guitar. I was crushed and lost, at first, but soon discovered that I could still hold a pencil to write and draw. Especially easily, as it turns out, since my finger seemed to be slightly locked in that position. Life doesn’t always work out like we hope, but if we continue to have hope, it always delivers something wonderful.  And though I never became that singer songwriter of my dreams, I don’t have any regrets. Just a fond and lasting memory of that time I played guitar.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 12 - That Time I Played Guitar - Doodlewash

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31 thoughts on “That Time I Played Guitar

  1. How horrible that accident must have been! Your account was chilling. And yet you still spoke with humor and found something good in the result. You’re my hero, Charlie. And an artistically talented one, too. You may not be able to play the guitar anymore, but you can paint one with the best!

  2. What a story Charlie, sure glad you came through the accident ok. My husband played classical guitar and one of his worst fears was damaging his fingers. You have painted an outstanding guitar. The warmth of the paint choices shows off its beauty.

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 That’s so awesome your husband played classical guitar!! Yeah, it’s the worst classical guitarist fear… I thankfully hadn’t played that long yet. But there are always other wonderful things life has to offer!

  3. I’m sorry to learn about teenage Charlie’s accident. It sounds like you brought your usual positive attitude to the situation, with great results. Your guitar reminds me of all the great 70’s music, including folk songs, which I especially loved.

  4. I’m sitting here in awe. I can understand why some of your friends thought you had died. It must have taken awhile for your recovery. Thankfully you’re with us today and you’ve found a new talent that you share with us each and every day.

    1. Thank you so much! 😃💕 Yeah, it was a pretty rough time back then, but even with two fractured hips, I healed and went on to teach tap and jazz dancing of all things! hehe… we all have the power to overcome just about anything!

  5. Oh my goodness! What a horrible thing, but in true Charlie form you made the best of it. I once started to learn classical guitar- it is a magical thing. But we are lucky that you continue the magic through your paints!

    1. Thank you so much, Ellie! 😃💕 Soooo cool you tried classical guitar… it IS magical isn’t it? Such a fun time I had back then, and even if it’s not possible now, there are still so many more possibilities just waiting to be discovered!

  6. Heck, that’s bad. I suppose, if nothing else, the musical tie might have injected a bit of relief into the event! Lovely guitar, it looks fresh and ready to pick up and ‘play’ (in my case, just go mad and hope for the best!)

    1. Hehe… the musical tie was definitely awesome in the end. What a ridiculous thing to happen! lol I still chuckled about that one. And thanks! 😃💕 Glad you liked the guitar! Go mad and hope for the best if what I do when I play piano. 😉

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