Soul Doubt: A Bright Black Cherry Burst Quilt Spot in an Otherwise Dark Week

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Bright Black Cherry Burst Quilt Spot in an Otherwise Dark Week

If you're wondering what the heck that post title could possibly mean, I should first explain that the situation with my stepdaughter has NOT gotten better at all- if anything, it's deteriorating rapidly. Her drug use, cigarette smoking and whatever other vices she's dangerously indulging in, I've now found out have been permitted- if not necessarily condoned- by her father, my husband, of course without my knowledge. Behind my back, in fact. Apparently he's trying so hard to be her buddy, he's forgotten his role as her father. He's also seemingly forgotten that part of being in a marriage is presenting a united front, especially towards one's children. Dissension among the ranks should be behind closed doors, not after the stepmom finds out about crap that the other two have been lying about and hiding. To make it even worse, things have also come up missing around the house. I've been forced to put a password on my computer, purchase a small lockbox, and hide certain items I'm afraid may grow legs and hop into J's hot little hands. Can you sense some resentment here? I sure hope so; I think I can even feel it oozing off my fingertips onto the keys.

Anyway, we are (or at least I am) taking steps to rectify these completely unacceptable activities, attitudes, and atrocities taking place in the former sanctity of our home. There is an elder at our church who owns a Christian counseling service, Genesis Associates; I yanked the poor guy to the side after services last Sunday and poured the whole sorry story out on him; he was gracious enough to offer to start us out with a mediation session between just Tony and myself (communication at this point has almost entirely broken down, reduced to epithets and personal attacks on both sides), then possibly lead into a moderate number of sessions necessary to relieve some of the communication issues and animosity. We may even bring J into it at some point, if she lasts in our household that long, or is amenable to such bullshit (to use her terminology). We'll see.

I was at a family function last Saturday- the 50th wedding anniversary of some semi-distant relatives. It was fun, but the highlight of the event was a short little jam session with my uncle Gary, which made me realize just how sharply I miss playing guitar.. I didn't realize how rewarding making music can be when one's soul is aching- music is a wonderful conduit for all of life's ills and injustices. Case in point: the blues.

Musical talent runs in my family- my dad used to be quite well-known in the area back in the late 70's/early 80's. He- Zane Goodrick- played a combination of good ol' boy country, Southern rock, and classic rock (Stones; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; John Prine- all faves as far as I can recall, along with hundreds upon hundreds of others). My pops was that breed of musician that was mainly in it for the song in it's entirety- something I inherited- he eschewed the fancy leads and exact chord changes for the basic feel of the song... one that everyone in the audience can recognize with joy, sing along to at the top of their lungs, and just generally enjoy as a package deal.

I learned from my dad at the age of around 12 or 13; didn't get serious til my late teens, but then really became devoted once I discovered the wonders of Jimi Hendrix. At first it discouraged me from continuing playing- I mean, why bother? The guy had already done all that was to be done, I could never even hope to wash his sandals, to borrow a line from J the B. But then I looked at the flip side, and decided that instead of him being my inspiration and someone to try to emulate, I would rather just idolize him while sticking to what I did best- just plain playing songs. Any songs. Songs off the radio (I can usually pick 'em up by ear and fake my way through), songs listeners request- like "Hotel California" or "House of the Rising Sun"- I must've played each of those about a billion times apiece! Or as of late, praise and worship songs which I've scavenged tabs and lyrics for off the internet; most of them are pretty simple.

But one major thing which has kept me from pursuing this avocation (besides the demands of my job, son, and other real life concerns), this something which used to be a ha-huge part of my life, is the fact that I've nothing but a beater little pawn shop acoustic, plastered with stickers and with action so miserable one's fingers are complaining after the first barre chord or two; not to mention tinny, twangy tone and zero resonation, it being a 3/4 size no-name dreadnought to begin with. Embarrassing to take out in public, a pain in the ass to play in private, and generally just a dust collector these last couple months- after seeing and savoring the feel of a quality guitar neck under my now uncalloused fingers I was determined to kick that p.o.s. to the curb and treat myself to a real instrument, one that I could play the heck out of anytime, anywhere, just for the sheer joy of it.

So we went directly from the party in the Spokane Valley to Pawn1 in Post Falls, and lo and behold: there was an absolutely breathtaking guitar on display there right in the place of honor. I knew enough about the make and model to be in utter awe -not to mention feeling serious trepidation about the price tag- an Ovation Celebrity acoustic/electric with all the bells and whistles (built in all-new OP20 preamp which features three eq bands and a Pre-Shape circuit for killer tonal flexibility, chromatic tuner that's easy to use and keeps perfectly in-tune even when using open or non-standard tunings), not to mention the gorgeous finish on the maple body face: black cherryburst quilt, high-gloss; the signature curved mid-depth Ovation back seemed form fitted for little ol' me, too. All this just HAD to be too good to be true! Or at least too expensive!

Well, wonders upon wonders, some idiot pawned this beauty and Pawn1 was silly enough to list it at the ridiculously low price of $350.00. Being fairly loyal purchasers of electronics and jewelry at their shop we don't pawn- just take advantage of other peoples' idiocy for practically giving away their stuff to loan sharks in respectable fronts of buildings... we were even able to talk 'em down to 300, case included. I swear when I walked out of that building my feet didn't even touch the ground. I was so elated, I couldn't wait to get better acquainted with my new sweetie.

Haven't named her yet- any suggestions would be much appreciated. Maybe I'll be like Phil or JB3ll3 and hold a contest- the prize could be one serenade of the winner's choice. Like I said, I can play or at least b.s. my way through just about anything, so be it old or new, country, classic rock, alternative, blues, oldies, Christian contemporary, very little punk/metal/grunge (mainly from their strange tunings and my lack of interest in the music itself. Mainly I play for the love of it, the love of expressing my feelings through song, be it joyous or sad, the love of seeing faces of those who are listening light up with recognition or love for the song. I love it when they sing along, or jump in with a guitar or other instrument of their own (Herb, why don't you break out that banjo and lets cut loose with some bluegrass? I know "Big Midnight Special"... but that's about it, unfortunately. You should school me, old guy! I love learning from more experienced players than I.) And Stickman, do you play? What about anyone else?

My Uncle Gary runs a homeless assistance center called Fresh Start on Coeur d'Alene Ave in C'dA, actual address 418 Coeur d’Alene Ave. He does wonderful things there, mainly helping the mentally ill and those with legal/criminal issues have a safe place to vent, find resources, shower, etc. He also holds jam sessions, any and all welcome, every Saturday morning from 10 to around noon. This week, for the first time, I'm going. And I'm going with pride in my new guitar, hopes that I will be able to release some stress from playing- it used to work, why wouldn't it now? and especially just spend some time with another family member who really cards about me and while I was stuck in the dope scene, I shut him and many others out of my life. It's time to start repairing those bridges, and I'm looking forward to this.

Let's see if the photos turn out (they won't do this marvelous instrument justice, but at least they can give you a general idea of this thing of beauty I am so in love with!

Here's another one, unfortunately the high gloss reflects the glare a bit too much.

What do you musicians (or nonmusicians for that matter think? Is this not the most beautiful hand crafted work of art expressly made for birthing beautous music?


  1. I'm a stepfather and I know being a step-parent is fraught with difficulties; you've laid them out in these last two posts. For you and Tony's sake, I'm glad you are getting help to restore your trust in each other. Kids need to see a united front. They need consistency. If they sense an adult is being tentative, they pounce and take as full advantage as they can of that tentativeness. God Bless You and your family.

  2. That is one hot guitar! AWESOME! Kendra, you make me proud. You keep after it, Sister. You gonna be the gold ring yet.

  3. Congrats on the sweet axe! (Have I got that terminology right? I'm trying hard to sound cooler than I actually am now that I know you play the guitar!)

    Anyway, my prayers are with you and Tony and your stepdaughter. I totally love Genesis Associates--Paul and I got counseling there during the Dark Days, and they were so wonderful and warm and supportive. I hope the moderation goes well; I know you guys will get through this!

  4. Puppies and Cup Cakes. Nothing impressive here!

  5. It's quiet over there; what's going on?

  6. I'll be praying for you. You don't know me, but I followed your case pretty closely in the paper. My husband and I are involved with Celebrate recovery over at RLM.

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Thanks for taking the time to read what I ramble about- I consider it an honor to get feedback from you guys, so please tell me what you think, feel, if you have a similar story... whatever you'd like! Thanks again and God bless.