Sitting in the house at night, there is a favorite sound lately that comes from my youngest punks room. It’s the sound of him picking at his guitar. On this particular night, he’s working his way through Dust in the Wind by Kansas.
I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment’s gone.
He can read music, but he prefers to play by ear. He began to teach himself when he was just six years old with a toy guitar.
All my dreams, pass before my eyes with curiosity.
Upon seeing how serious he was and watching him figure more and more of this beautiful instrument out, we put him in lessons for about a year so that he could learn to read music and know the name of the notes he was playing.
All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see.
Then, he fizzled out with lessons and told me “I’m tired of playing other people’s music mom. I want to make my own.”
It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy.
He’s written countless songs since then and until very recently, he’s taken a break from his guitars. He’s drawn to the acoustic because he loves to finger pick, and he loves the electric so he can rock out, and if I take him to Guitar Center, he loves the Banjo and the twelve string guitar.
Through all of this he has taught me something. What, you ask? The art of being creative, be it in music, art or whatever creative avenue you are blessed with…
There is a line where you sometimes become so disciplined in your practice that the genius within becomes silenced.
Watching him, I’ve learned there is a difference between the discipline of practicing the music and the art of just letting what is in you flow out of you. Be inspired, yes… be disciplined, not always. His gift is there, whether I push him to pursue it or not. What God gave him is there within him and it’s going to flow out. I trust that. For me to think for one minute that I can make or demand it out of him puts me in the middle of him and his God given talent. No thank you. I want to be a parent who trusts that what has been given will come forth when he is ready. Will I encourage? Yep! All the way. Will I hound? Nope, not this mama.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear….
and you know what? He’s picking up that guitar more and more and I love that it’s “his” thing to pursue or lay down for awhile. It’s something I’ve released to him… yet it was never mine to release.
Dust in the wind.
So, while I don’t have a lot of other things figured out, I’ve got this. And while there’s many other battles I will choose to pursue with my punks, this isn’t one of them. I’d rather just sit back and listen to what flows out of him now. I guess you could say that’s a gift for both of us.
Everything is dust in the wind.