For a while there in my life I neglected the guitar.
I moved on to synths and digital instruments, and in my eyes at the time “moved on” from the guitar. After years of playing and then years of not, I picked her back up last year after I heard Metallica’s “ Fade to Black” for the first time in a while, and my mind just jumped to the memory of playing the chord sequence from the song.
Immediately I wanted to re-learn the chords.
I picked the chords back up in no time, like my brain had just switched on guitar mode yet again.
Forever that chord sequence will be important to me as it was a catalyst for kicking my passion for music up another few gears.
And so in the last few months I have studied a lot of guitar methods I never knew and genres I never jumped into, country music and blues being at the forefront. I recently stumbled upon the tale of Robert Johnson.
A blues guitarist who “as the story says”, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the gift of playing the guitar at the highest level. He walked to a deserted crossroads at midnight and started playing his guitar, poorly.
A man dressed in black approached, took his guitar and tuned it. He handed it back to Robert and sent him on his way. After returning to his hometown where he was known as a poor guitar player by some, just a few months later, he’s playing the guitar like no other man, inspiring guitarists across many genres for many decades to come.
A fascinating fable, yet the truth is probably closer to, he just worked non stop 24/7 to get better at his passion, and the progress he made, stunned people into trying to explain it with mysticism. Yet the image of the crossroads at night, ripples its way through all forms of media. The popular film “ O Brother where art thou?” based one of its character’s on Robert Johnson and also the 1986 movie “ Crossroads”.
A person reaches a crossroads in their lives, someone comes out of nowhere and offers to help them, to aid them in their search for what they seek. It seems that path only leads to destruction, as the route taken by Robert Johnson and many, many others, doesn’t end a happy one.
A crossroads is a great metaphor for life, you approach it and with the lack of signs around or people, you’re lost.
Do you go forward? Or left, right, turn around? Only you can decide, people who sit in the passenger seat telling you where to go, only think of what’s best in their case, and will lead you down a road not designed for you.
One must take their own path, choose a direction to go and embrace what comes from it, as long as you know it is your choice, it WILL work out.
And sure look, you might even get out of the car and start running off road,
But where? Somewhere.
Go raibh math agat,