Thursday, May 18, 2006

Daddy's Guitar

"Daddy, can I play?"

"Okay, Babydoll, you pick and I'll finger the notes here. Start with this string."
Twinkle, twinkle. . .
"Now this string."
. . . little star, how I wonder. . .
"Now back to the first string."
. . . what you are. . .
"Now. . . right, that it! you're right."
. . . Up above the world so . . .
"No, now down."
. . . high . . .
"Now back, yeah."
. . . like a diamond in the . . .
"Yup."
. . . sky. . .
Twinkle, little star, how I wonder. . .what you are.
* * *

"You recognize this one, don't you? This is Pat's favorite song. Here, I'll play, you sing it for her."

And I'd sing.

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me

Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever
* * *

"Who tuned this guitar?"

"I did, Daddy."

"Well, you didn't do too bad. But the two highest strings you have to tune using this fret. You use this one for the others, but not the two highest."

"Oh. Oops! I thought it sounded weird."

* * *

Sometimes when Daddy was away from home, I'd sit around picking one string after another. Listen to the notes resonate into a chord that sounded like wide, empty spaces under the sky. Like mountains and deserts and the sun setting golden in the west. And like my dad.

E . . . A . . . D . . . G . . . B . . . E
E . . . . A . . . . D . . . . G . . . . B . . . . E
E . . . . . . A . . . . . . D . . . . . . G . . . . . . B . . . . . . . . . . . E
* * *

When Daddy died, Mom asked me if there was anything I wanted.

"Daddy's guitar."

1 comment:

Brittong said...

I can only hope that when I leave this earth that I am as honored by my children as your father is by you.