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“Why are you bothering to learn guitar?  It’s such a silly waste of time.  I mean, you’ll never get any good at it.”

What a statement.  It was all he could do to contain the disappointment.  It’s surprising, he thought, what people you call friend can sometimes say.

A few minutes into practice, he put the guitar down in frustration thinking about the question ‘why bother’.  Why bother doing anything creative?

“Let me ask you a question.  Do you remember what Aristotle said about language?”

“Vaguely.”

“He said language is sound with meaning.  What do you make of that?”

“That makes sense.”

“It seems about right to me too, until you really think it through.  Now ask yourself, which came first, the sound or the meaning?”

“Well, I guess you’d have to first create the meaning before you create the meaningful sound.”

“I think you’re right.  It’s what goes on inside the mind first that’s the prime mover behind our creative efforts.  So it may turn out that Aristotle, in a sense, had it backwards.  Language is most likely meaning with occasional sound.”

“What’s you’re point?”

“I’m answering you’re question.  Our language or ‘higher’ intelligence, however you want to describe it, gravitates towards the imaginative.  Poets, philosophers, photographers, particle physicists, Lascaux cave painters and yes, learning guitarists all do what our brains intuitively do:  liberate our most inspired thoughts.  And if you’re willing to be serious, the world needs more poets and physicists, the more the better. People should be free to create in whatever way suits their talents because it’s the essential and inextricable part of being human.”

His friend sat there deliberating, quietly. It was a risky quiet.  He knew from experience that friendships, like wayward vessels, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly run aground.

But then the jury of one calmly stood up, walked to the kitchen and grabbed two beers.  On his way back, he picked up the guitar.

“Will you teach me how to play this thing, please?”

 

In the sacred garden where silence speaks truth

To our madness unbounded so thoughtless aloof

But her wisdom she rises together so high

Between lofty wonders touching the sky

 

In the sacred garden where silence speaks truth

To our madness unbounded so thoughtless aloof

But her wisdom she rises together so high

Between lofty wonders touching the sky

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075

 

Let’s meet in the garden, the elders they speak

Of memories of good things we once sought to seek

A bounty of wisdom, a harvest so deep

Let’s meet in the garden, and share what we reap

017

 

In a world driven faster by minds made too small

No rest for the weary, the dreary banal

 

Must the earth tremble, resigned to her fate

While we wander in circles no time for debate

 

But love lives in nature, our true clarion call

Through the trees lives a light that shines above all