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July 21, 2011

We're Feeling Good

Thursday. Some reading again last night, didn't seem to hurt, a good way to slip into the evening and a decent night's sleep. Sounds good, anyway, we'll see if it continues. Up this morning before the alarm, to breakfast and back at the usual place, eight o'clock now as I write, the sky clear, another day ahead like yesterday I'd guess. Except there are no appointments, no guitar lessons to navigate. Good, I'd think. I can do that.

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday practicing, fooling around looking for new ways to go seamlessly between five chords. Find a simple set of movements of the fingers on the frets. Progress, but miniscule, was my thought. Odd to become absorbed in such a small thing, but it seems to give me positive feedback and I spent over two hours yesterday engrossed in it.

I guess this retirement thing is a bit like being on summer vacation again when I was a kid, time on your hands that allows pale images of interests and hobbies to return, reform again. Seems to be going well, although you never really know until you know. It takes time to remember, reprogram the brain to places it long ago left.

Later. So far my daily routine is right on its well worn track: a walk down and around by the lake, ending at the usual café for a cup of coffee out on the patio before heading home, not one picture in the basket. Well, one, but it doesn't count. You take pictures for aesthetic reasons, but some you take for information, an image of a poster to remind you of the place or date, but you know when you're shooting it isn't an image of a kind you'd keep.

Where did that come from? How is it relevant?

I have no damned idea. Probably something to do with drugs.

Otherwise it's one in the afternoon, time to tune the guitar and work on the chords. That seems to be another part of the routine: as I'm walking home from wherever I've been, I start thinking about whatever I've been practicing at the moment, this or that particular series of chords or song, thinking, as I'm walking, about the various moves in different ways and deciding it would be nicer to be sitting, practicing, rather than walking under this (cold rain, deep snow, nasty overcast) hot sun. My walks are not unlike Pavlov's little bell, you ring it and you (fill in the blank).

Later still. OK, I understand, they say two years of practice before you can play simple stuff with others and I'm seeing why. There aren't any shortcuts I'm aware of when you're learning any of the other arts. I know, I've come up short in many starts. Enlightenment comes to some of us at a somewhat later age than others I confess.

The temperature has stalled in the mid-seventies this afternoon, better than the low eighties we had yesterday, sitting here in front of the fan, playing the same three chords over and over, forward and back. At least the fingertips now hold up well, although the right inside of the ring finger is a bit sore now that it's been introduced to barre chords. A good afternoon for practice, if not for the music.

Anyone know what's going on out there in the real world? I've been listening to and reading the news in great detail now for these last few years and I have not a clue. Just an idle question, rhetorical, no thought of a response.

Evening. Before I forget, their new CD, my guitar teacher on the right. My friend, Ms. M, who worked with some of the great rock and roll drummers in the sixties and early seventies, says it's true: a drummer's brains do eventually come loose. Well, what the hell, I can testify it can happen to non-drummers as well. And besides, he's teaching me to play the guitar, not the drums.

The drummer is teaching you to play guitar?

It costs extra.

Again, I have to ask, where did that come from?

Again, no damned idea. We're drifting, but we're feeling good.

The photograph was taken just before my guitar lesson yesterday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24-70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens.