One of the first things I ever knew about Brad was that he was a guitar player. That was the context in which I had my first ever conversation with him; he was attempting to teach me a different way to play a difficult chord. Predictably, I was annoyed and rejected his advice. I think I was frustrated because even with his new trick, it was still too hard. Wah. But I respected him - as a guitar player who was better than I was, and as a person who was better than I was. So much better and on a different plane that I dismissed the thought that he would ever like me. Oddly, he thought the same thing about me. But I think that was what ultimately led me to love him- the fact that I respect him. Goodness is in his essence.
We sang and played guitars in groups- the Validating Emotions and the Hurdy Gurdy Modulators- during our Bibleschool career and it was always fun. I've always enjoyed singing - alone and in groups- but it was more fun because Brad was a part of it. I could have spent whole Friday nights just standing around the piano in the library singing, " Ezekiel saw da wheel way up in the middle of the air..." over and over. Good harmonies, good fun, good people. I remember when we played in a group for a youth convention once and it was just sheer joy because we made such a good sound. I remember when I first realized that I liked him; coincidentally enough, it was when I saw him off by himself playing his guitar after the youth convention had ended. I thought, " I will miss him. Wait- I am really going to miss him! Oh NO! I like him!" Long story, but I didn't want to like anybody then; it was just too much of a hassle. Little did I know...
( And on a parenthetical jaunt: Yes, love is a hassle. We have no idea what a hassle it is until it's too late. I knew this then, I know it better now. Of course, if it's real love, it's entirely worth the hassle. The returns on your investment are worth exceedingly, abundantly more. Anyway, I did one wise thing- I put it off for a while, which was the best thing I could have done at the time. But ignoring it didn't make it go away. It kept growing. Maybe that is the true test of love. )
Considering that the guitar played such an important part of our early years of acquaintance, maybe it seems odd that we didn't play much together during our courtship. But now that I think of it, perhaps that was because true singing in general didn't factor much into those four years. It seemed like after the first couple months of bliss, when things began to fall apart and life was difficult for us, we began to just listen to music and not to sing ourselves. Even after God worked things out, and we got married, and were happy, we didn't play much music together. I guess it just seemed sort of like something that belonged to another part of our lives- something past. We hadn't really talked much before our courtship- we mostly just sang. It was fun but it was impersonal. After we were a couple, we didn't sing- we mostly just talked.
Now I know that it seems like I am leading up to something grand, like breaking the exciting news that we have ascended to a higher form of consciousness where we sing together all the time and that our life has become one never-ending musical. No. And this is not to say that we have formed a musical group and are going on tour around the country. No. All this is simply to say- at least two or three times since I've gotten my 12 string, we've sat down together and jammed. And it has been so much fun! It's like- why did we ever stop? He shows me tricks and chords and how to do stuff...and now I actually listen and learn...most of the time. I can't wait til he gets home from work so we can play some more.