As I pick up my guitar, tune the strings, sit down take a breath and finally open up Spotify. I turn the music up loud, but not loud enough to cancel out the guitar and just play some days for a couple of hours. Time goes by and with that a sense of calmness comes over me. My breathing slows, my body relaxes and my mind slows down, as I listen to the rhythm of the music, hear the layers of instruments through the song and finally the lyrics.
Whether the song is acoustic, dance, pop, jazz or country. It is the lyrics that take me to another place, a world where every thought, every fear, every emotion dissipates in a matter of my seconds. I feel completely safe in that moment and time. The lyrics, for me tell a story and how I interrupt that story will be completely different to how someone else would hear it. Some particular song I listen to remind me of certain times in my life. When I young and the long car journeys, my mum’s favorite Christmas song, the vinyl’s my dad would play through his speakers and fill all of the air in the room, also at time when things were bad for me, during the abuse and through the dark periods of my life.
It was about three years ago, when I picked up my first guitar. When I was younger I could never learn a musical instrument. I had piano lessons at school, but I soon quit them. It was mixture of me not practicing enough, and my teacher was very old fashioned, in how she taught me. I also, struggled to read the music. But, it was different when I started to learn the guitar. I taught myself off YouTube. At first I started with the basic chords and my strumming pattern sounded painful to a human ear. I am surprised my family didn’t turn the radio up downstairs. I was determined to play songs that I had listened to throughout the years.
Every time I would have a stressful day at work, or my mind is all over the place. I would just start to play and everything would go away. Some days when things are “all over the place” and I can’t communicate my feelings and thoughts to anyone. I pick up my guitar and every emotion I feel at that time I play away through my guitar. In some ways this is my therapy. A release. A moment when my body and mind are completely calm. Together.
© Rosie Burnham