Artistic Self-Care: Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic guitar moves like the river, rhythmic and plain and constant, and so very soothing. It is an auditory bath, coursing over the curves our bodies and reverberating inside our chest walls. It cleanses us inside and outside.

I’ve often said that whenever I’m pregnant for the first time, I’m going to stretch headphones over my belly every day so that tiny human develops a strong sense of rhythm. That baby will hear everything: Gregory Alan, Kendrick, Lord Huron, The Shins, Beyonce, Bon Iver, Whitney, Chance, John Denver, Courtney Barnett. That baby will be one rhythmic little being.

Music has always been an integral part of my life. Once I broke up with a guy because he told me he didn’t care about music. As I tuned the radio and inquired about his normal music tastes, he replied, “I don’t really care what’s on. Usually just sports radio. I don’t really like music.”

….not liking music? Dealbreaker. I would never trust someone who didn’t like music. It seems as strange as not having opinions about food or art or design or aesthetic or drink or literature or culture. It’s like not having a preference for the creative, inspiring, uniquely human things that separate us from other living creatures.

For an artist, meeting someone who doesn’t appreciate the arts is hard to stomach. The people reading this blog are generally artistic, which is why they’re drawn to this prose-filled space for emotional processing. This blog is for emotionally-driven people.

So, for we artistic-livers on this self-care Saturday, our focus is on this simple nutrient: music, & specifically, the acoustic guitar. Yesterday I walked along the dazzling, smelly Milwaukee River as the sunset painted a pastel ombré sky. The melody of a soft acoustic guitar seemed to float over the peaceful river, south toward its mouth at Lake Michigan.

In the cozy onset of fall, let’s take a little time for some simplicity found in the guitar – to appreciate how a stringed instrument can create a complex, inviting melody through a few simple strings. In all the winnowing of choosing what to keep and what to let go, music is something that we can hold close.

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nurse. writer. poet. (414) born & raised.

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