Monday, October 20, 2008

A "ghost" story

When I was 13 years old, I went exploring into a storage area of my grandparent's old farmhouse, a place we dubbed "the backroom". In this room, my imagination was allowed to roam into dangerous territory; it was filled with treasures beyond my wildest dreams. Old paintings, cracked glass bottles, dusty trunks with skeleton key locks, broken tombstones, dirty piles of ancient papers...practically anything and everything that an old farmhouse could hold. I dreamed of finding something worth millions, an old treasure map, the draft of a precious historical document...anything! Instead, what I found was an old guitar case, dusty, scratched and beaten, made of a reddish glossy leather with a broken zipper. The guitar inside was missing two strings and was coated with an inch of grime and time...but I had found the treasure that would become priceless to me.

I learned that the guitar was my mother's, something she had purchased as a teenager in the 70's (Sorry to date you, mom!) I begged her to let me learn to play it. She finally relented, allowing me to get new strings, a book on chords and eventually, a new case. Two years later, on my fifteenth birthday, she gave me the guitar as a birthday present. We still have the picture; I burst into tears when I saw the case with a big bow on it and I'm tearing up writing this now. That guitar has been a friend to me like nothing else in my life. It has seen me through love and heartache, through death and despair, and through joy and praise. It has traveled with me across the country and has served me even in foreign lands. Today's picture is special to me because it depicts the "ghost" of both my mother and myself playing that same guitar throughout the years. The hands have changed, growing older and more fragile. The strings have changed, from the dry sullied strands of 30 years ago to the supple yet delicate fibers of today. The notes have lingered and faded...but the gift of music it has brought to me remains as stoic and unchanging as the love of my mother.

Someday, I hope to pass it on to my children and maybe hundreds of years from now, some child will find it in a back room, dusty, dirty, half broken...and yet, filled with the promise of a new "ghost" to come!


mumsie said...

now you made Me get you, middle one!

akaGaGa said...

Okay, so we'll just have a good cry-a-thon!

Well done, HB.

Framing Images and Memories said...

What a great story and image. I'm jealous because I want to learn to play and now I want to even more. I know you love music and so Im happy that you have this musical memory connected to family.

trishalyn said...

Beautiful images!!! Am intrigued by the "ghost" image. Would you please share your technique? Your story nearly brought tears to MY eyes, too. Wonderful!!!

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