Getting Acquainted With The Guitar Again

Last night, I played the guitar. There were a few awkward moments in the beginning. I have not touched a guitar in 24 years, not since I suffered spinal cord injury. I gingerly held it as if it would crumble if I gripped too tightly. The scent of varnished wood assaulted my nostrils and brought back memories of a time I thought I could never relive again.

“Will I be able to play again?” I wondered.

It has been such a long time ago. I ran my fingers along its curves. Yes, that was one finely crafted piece of art that I could not afford then. Like I always did whenever I had a guitar in my hands, I would start with the C chord to make sure the strings were properly tuned. My fingers were stiff. My strumming awkward. I was holding my favourite plectrum. I like it soft. I strummed a few more times. The strings and I slowly became one. I was ecstatic. My once clawed fingers glided fluidly across the frets.

I never thought I could play the guitar again. But there I was strumming – unleashing two decades of frustrations for not being able to make music out of it. Never mind it was a little out of beat. I was a little out of beat previously anyway. Nothing has changed. I hope it never will. I felt liberated. Did I say I was ecstatic? For the first time in a long while, I sang and sang I did. I surprised myself even. Now I sit here beaming from ear to ear wishing it was all real. It was exhilarating while it lasted. I certainly do not mind having more of such dreams.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

5 thoughts on “Getting Acquainted With The Guitar Again”

  1. Peter = keep strumming. I always remember you from the good old days at Saints. Keep the spirits up!

    Ah, you still remember. 😀

  2. This old guitar taught me to sing a love song, it taught me how to laugh and how to cry,it introduced me to some friends of mine and lightened up some days.
    But most of all to sing my song to you.
    Ah memories! My first song I played on the guitar was John Denvers Annie’s Song.Played it to my GF now my better half.Guess it worked!! My first guitar was the old reliable Kapok brand and not forgetting the 1000 songs book.Good to play on those cool rainy nights, strumming, picking and learning new chords and a good diversion from the exams.It sure was a good companion and friend.Why not pick it up again Pete, it might be good therapy.

    Mine was a Kapok too. RM40+ in the early 80s. Played songs by Alley Cats, Bee Gees and many many campfire songs during Boy Scout gatherings. I wished I could own a guitar now and play again but my fingers are not like what they used to be.

  3. Peter o- you were a maestro then and you will always be. Always remember the scouting days man

    *takes a bow*

  4. Hey Peter, remember the dream that I had abt you when we first get acquainted ? Do you remember it ? I told you abt it. That was real to me too… I was glad and happy for ya bro. Dreams is the place where our unfulfilled wishes comes true thus keeping us sane and hopeful.

    If you forget about the dream liao, IM me I shall remind you again

    Take care bro

    Truthfully, I have forgotten. Will check with you again. 😀

  5. Hey Peter, nice meeting you today.

    I am sure you can do it. Just need for practices…. the guitar I mean.

    Hey Zewt, nice to meet you too although we did not have much time to chat more. As for the guitar, I am afraid, more practice can never make it perfect. My fingers are just not what they used to be anymore.

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