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There it sat, collecting fine dust upon it's shoulders it's neck slowly curving eventually to fetal the hole in it's heart from the burden of time and tightly wound strings. 3 strings remain, three had snapped some time ago. Pick me up a voice would say...pick me back up... but I never would. Flattered by years of service to it's demands - "learn me, strum me, Sing and make people happy..." When in countless circles and feast's at family and friend's you could hear me a mile away singing, eyes closed, wrapped like a cocoon tightly wound, round the body of my guitar. Then, slowly, most assuredly, you could hear me in the distance gently weeping away in empty rooms where only I could hear my own voice echoing the tone, while singing the tune: nasaly, high pitches, off beat, and "not bad, just different", voices beating in my head while strumming out the melody. I have heard these people before. American Idol comes to mind, and the competing candidates who seemed always ready! willing! excited! Standing square upon the judges-stage facing the first of hopefully many reviews to come. And so He begins: The candidate tossing his head back, closing his eyes, began to sing. Despite the dreadful sound coming out of his mouth he was obviously oblivious to it. There on the stage he was all a-bright and alone somewhere between heaven and hell. And the whooaawooa's and the eeeha's, bled out into the audience. When the song was sung, the paragon upon his stage, eyes soft, opening, as a proud yet humble smile creased his face... Now, anticipating the review, he waited - "Not to good, that one. Sounded more like a baboon in mating season", as the judges feigning all-knowing, giggling or turning their heads, rolling their eyes. One after the other the judges poured out their reviews as hope slowly diminished finally into a tiny little hole he spied in the middle of the stage in the floor boards near where he stood - an escape for a mouse on the run he would go. Just then you could see the crushing blow, like a fist in slow motion, moving across the distance slamming right into the middle of the paralyzed, fettered candidate: The reviewers' deduction as the critique would have doubled it's victim over if not for the grand and global stage of onlookers, perhaps the integrity and disbelief at the ingenuous, off colored jabs. He stood there naked and helpless before the judges. The feeling of his inner pain and horror from inside his ears was felt all the way around the world while the big joke festering in his own head it's way back to home somewhere where family and friends who had egged him on to follow his dream.... I often wondered what happens to those people: they probably do not take their music seriously enough anymore. No road tours, cities and stages to look forward to. Where does the hurt go, I wondered? After all the time and effort. Now the dream is gone, unstaged, so to speak, upended, by reality. No, I would never pick up my guitar again and sing. It was singing I loved, accompanied by my guitar as background music now relegated to instrumentals and second chair performances. Never again... Until, a moment in WritersCafe when a statement wrote in review that I have heard countless times before. But never a care, never a thought of it's truer meaning - 'who cares what other people think or say, just write because you love doing it'. What a statement! I am not ready to sing to an audience...yet! Because I have not the integrity and confidence it takes to sound off key or hurt because i am 'never' read. "Baby steps, Ellie, baby steps." (Contact, the movie) So I Bid You Adieu, WritersCafe people. Thank you for your service and opportunity for me to shine. Off into a little corner where my guitar still waits - 'pick me up and sing....' It is calling me! A thought just occurred to me... 'What if no one reads this, after all nearly seven years of not being reviewed'. "That's not the point"' the voice said. matt black
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