My ancient guitar has been my faithful companion throughout my professional musical life. Like me, it's showing its age.
"Behold, I make all things new."
This morning it occurred to me that, as I age, my body has undergone many changes. There are new conditions and restrictions to which I must adhere. I not only have to watch what I eat, but how much and when as well. Mysterious aches and pains are now a part of daily life. In short, my body and being have radically changed in the last two decades.
My faithful companion, my beloved guitar, has changed as well. People are curious as to why the top is so torn up and worn down. That's the result of more gigs and concerts than I can remember. Ironically, while it was in much better cosmetic shape when I first bought it, it is now a far better instrument than when I purchased it. A simple truth: a guitar gets better when played and age can mellow and refine a guitar.
But can we bring forth a refinement and grace? Can we be renewed?
Of course, if we keep hope in our hearts and a faith that life is in constant renewal.
Music can renew us and keep our spirits young. Ralph Towner proves my point in spades.
Guitarist and composer Ralph Towner turns 72 on March 1.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite musicians, Ralph Towner. Towner is of America's truly original voices whose style crosses many genres without flash or fanfare and integrates them into a seamless organic whole.
You would think that after 40 some years of performing and composing that he might have lost some of his enthusiasm, but such is not the case. Towner has a youthful and open spirit. Until I edit my interview, here's NPR's interview from 2006.
So, an early happy birthday to Ralph Towner!