I’m learning to play the banjo. One thing I’ve discovered as I’ve aged is that my fingers don’t always do what my brain commands. In fact, there are times they behave something like the broken springs in a cartoon clock. A few months back, I was embarking on learning a tune called “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (I had to share that song title). As I gave it a go and worked out my fingering, I came to the exasperated conclusion that I may have reached my outer limits as a banjo player. I may just have to concede that I wasn’t going to master this song. But…I practiced and went over the problem areas with my very excellent teacher, and now I can play it. Recently I’ve started another challenging tune. Unwelcomed, the following thought popped into my head… I’ve reach my outer limits as a banjo player. I’m just not going to master this song. But then I remembered, I’d had that thought before and, Heaven knows how, but I got there.
The first time we encounter any difficult task – grieving the death of a friend, working through depression, hitting a road block at work – we think we won’t be able to make it through. But the more hard times we encounter, and the more times we do make it through, the more confident we become that we will make it through once more.
There’s a song that sticks in my head at times like these. Often too, I sing it as I’m walking, a meditative mantra. From Santa Clause is Coming to Town, “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door.” Heaven knows how, but it helps.
Lorena Gay Griffin
Beautiful words today, Lorena. Wonderful reminder to me when I get so impatient with myself about not mastering things now as easily as I once did.