good weekends end in calloused fingers

This weekend, two guys from my band came to visit and work on some music. It’s been so long since I’ve had any regular music routine other than teaching, and I’m really out of shape. My hands are really not built for playing guitar, being about the size of a six-year-old’s, and I also have tendinitis in both wrists. I had also started to lose my guitar callouses, and after hours of playing guitar yesterday I’m now remembering how painful they were to get in the first place. So now, not only am I sore from running (see this post), I’m also sore from playing music.

It was a great weekend.

Interestingly enough, not a lot of my new-found American friends actually know that I play music. Or they do, but they’ve never heard any of it. For the first few months after I left Vancouver, I purposely kept this part of my life a semi-secret because I didn’t want to play my old music. It made me really homesick. Also, it’s really interesting to see how people view and treat me when they don’t know about all the “singer-songwriter” stuff. I have a very close group of friends back home who all came to know me because of music, but who have come to love me regardless of (and sometimes in spite of) my musical inclinations. However, it’s also been nice to know that I’m capable of making friends and being liked without having a microphone in my hand.

That being said, I think I’m coming back around. I’m actually picking up my guitar without wanting to cry (it sounds funny, but it’s true). The people at my church are slowly finding out that I can sing, and now I’m at the brink of going back out there and putting the old pipes to use again. I might start with a weekend service at church, and then if things go the way they always have, I may start to see my schedule fill up and eventually overlow with singing engagements, rehearsals, recording sessions and obsessive songwriting. My husband is wary because he’s seen how my life used to get – and how I used to get – when my life was this crazy. It’s exhausting. I did one weekend of music writing with half of my band and now my fingers (and my brain) are still numb the day after. Imagine what it would be like if it goes back full swing? Teaching, volunteering, performing, writing. Just thinking about it is a little intimidating.

I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Today, I’m reflecting on the weekend that just passed and I really couldn’t be more grateful. I’m grateful to have the gift of music in my life, and also for the people who I’ve been able to make and share it with. I’m grateful because even though I’m not even close to being a big deal in the music industry, and even though singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen and easily replaceable, my band makes time to lug their guitars, amps and cajons across the border to play music with me in my living room. I’m grateful because my friends would often tell me how much they look forward to hearing my music again, and how they buy my obscure records and actually play them, sometimes on repeat, in their homes, cars and iPods. And while most of my weekends are consumed with working, cleaning, or sometimes doing absolutely nothing, this weekend I got to create a song where none used to exist.

Like I said…it was a great weekend. Calloused fingers and all.


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