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365 Days of Writing Prompts

I have two things I’ve attempted that didn’t work out so well for me.  I cannot ride a skateboard and I cannot play a stringed instrument.

I couldn’t have been more than two years old the first time my mother put roller skates on my feet.  I have been rolling ever since, mostly for fun, but I even played some derby.  Since then I have successfully waterskied, wake boarded and ice-skated.

These types of sports are thrilling and they make me feel like I’m flying.  The wind blows my hair back and the rides are so smooth.

Most would assume that I could also ride a skateboard.  They would all be wrong.

For the most part, there is something about my balance on the skateboard.  I constantly feel like it is going to roll right out from under like a cartoon character and I’m going to crack my skull on the pavement that surrounds me.  I wonder if I could do it if it was attached to my feet.  That seems to be the key for me.  Maybe I should try that sometime.

Now I think I’m too old to be trying things that have threatened me with bodily injury in the past.  I don’t think I’ll be dropping into any half-pipes anytime soon. Then, at four years old, a very close friend of my mother came to stay with us.  He brought an old organ with him and I was instantly hooked.  My mother says that I didn’t pound away, but instead she could rhythm and melody in my improvisational playing.  So I began taking piano lessons and I continued until I was about 12.

In that time, at the ages of 10, 11 and 12, I also learned to play the saxophone, clarinet, and flute.

I love music.  I love it for the way it makes me feel.  I love playing music, because it poses a challenge that results in something beautiful.

That being said, I cannot, for the life of me, play guitar.  I assume this means I can’t play a mandolin, cello, or a violin either.

I have determined several reasons for this.  First, tab is very different from notation.  My boyfriend’s son actually said that I should have never looked at tab, and I think he’s right.  Secondly, tuning is something my parents hired a man to do for the piano we owned.  Clarinets and flutes only require fresh reeds and good pads to sound right.  Also, the “strumming for rhythm” eluded me and I could never figure out what strings to actually strum.  Finally, was I supposed to be playing chords or individual notes?  I still don’t know.

I’ve decided that I don’t need to know how to skateboard.  I have a large beautiful mountain nearby that, when we aren’t in a drought, has enough snowpack to let me learn how to snowboard eventually.  I’ve also given up on playing guitar.  I have a nice keyboard and know how to play piano so I’m learning some music again.

So a skateboard and a guitar have basically beaten me, but I’m okay with that.

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