"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pushing limits

The banjo. Why I chose this instrument to begin learning at 41 is still an enigma to me. I enjoy bluegrass, but am not necessarily an enormous fan. No one in my family has ever played the instrument. I didn't grow up anywhere rich in bluegrass or banjo history. No country or bluegrass radio stations blasting from our old, yellow Dodge Aspen (what a fabulous car that was) when I was 10. In fact, years ago when I did imagine myself playing anything, the piano was the frontrunner in all my dreams.

But that did change, and here I am with a banjo and three pics fumbling my way through strings, chords, and strange looking music. At least once a day I curse that I didn't begin sooner, that I didn't have to squint and refocus my eyes just to see the strings 10 inches from my face. But I didn't begin sooner. An offer to borrow a banjo brought me to this place 7 months ago and surprisingly now it's not reading that is pushing me to get my old lady glasses, but the burning desire to play the banjo better.

Passion is a simple thing. If we love something enough, the idea is that we will stop at nothing to go for it. Even if it means we have to suck for awhile (a long while) before we get any good at it. We will give up having nice fingernails, develop ugly fingertip caluses, and endure our own crappy music playing just to get to the heart and meat of it all. It means that our comfort zone is not the endzone and frustration is actually a sign of self deconstruction and evolution. It means realizing that standing beyond our limits actually feels good. It means that in these moments, we are becoming something that not long ago was only just a dream.  That, I think I can do...

Happy Friday to you...



  1. suck on, girl! seriously the suck factor is short lived and with deep practice and intention, you'll be rockin' that banjo sooner than you know :)

  2. hey, i just picked up the piano again after 30 years. Lessons and everything.
    There is a certain satisfaction for me because at 10 years old, I couldn't focus. Now I have the focus and desire and it feels SO good.

  3. go for it. I also regret not having learned an instrument sooner. what am I saying? I don't know how to play anything. period. I might still pick something up. maybe the saxophone :)

  4. smiling. haven't been in this world for a while...but it was so nice to find myself here today. Here's my friend on the banjo - http://jaymestone.com/videos/contrapunctus-ix-from-the-art-of-the-fugue-j-s-bach have a listen and be inspired!

  5. Very best wishes with your banjo!

    ~Have a lovely day!

  6. LOVE this! And I'd say Boulder is a great banjo-ish town. ;)

  7. "It means that our comfort zone is not the endzone and frustration is actually a sign of self deconstruction and evolution." -- These are great thoughts. :-)


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw