Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hands of Time

I can't speak for the rest of you, but as a writer and a musician, I often find myself looking at my hands. As a writer, it's usually when I have writer's block, a sort of mental kryptonite that brings all creative thought to a crashing halt, leaving my hands poised yet frozen and unmoving on the laptop.
Yes, these are my hands on my Fender Strat; bass is my first instrument, but not my only.
As a musician, of course, it's usually because I'm paying attention to what I'm doing, thereby avoiding sour notes and despairing/incredulous glances from my band-mates.

My hands also serve as a reminder of the passage of time.

As the picture below indicates, I have had the rare privilege of playing bass in various bands for many years (my first actual foray into performing as a bass player actually dates back to 1980). A lot has changed over the years, as the photo can also attest to, but I am privileged to be able to continue to do something that I love, that brings joy to my life.

I can't tell the difference. Can YOU tell the difference?

But I notice the changes in my hands wrought by the passage of time. The years of various jobs-required-to-pay-the-bills have been less than kind. Some of my hand-strength is noticeably less than it used to be. The speed and dexterity is still there, but I also find that I'm practicing at home (songs like Roundabout by Yes) as much to keep limber as to acquire new skills. And conversely, I can definitely tell when I haven't kept up a daily regimen of practicing.
"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)
My hands remind me to "number my days". (Psalm 39:4) 
I have the privilege of still playing music after all these years. But it won't last forever. Same goes for my writing.

I want to invest it, enjoy it, and be always gratefully mindful of Who gave me the ability to use these hands in the first place.

That is what I learned from my hands today.

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