Some days
The chalkboard of my faults
Stares me
Down,
A billboard
Of vicious, cutting letters.
They pile up,
Even as I try
To erase.

Life has ups and downs. It’s a well-known fact. Life is unpredictable, and we are little ants at the mercy of the weather. Sometimes — hopefully most times — life is wonderful, full of smiles and laughter and love. Sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes it’s unfair, hard, and painful, even.

It’s been a rough week. My shoulder (and the arm connected to it) has been giving me grief and I find myself frustrated with the slow pace of recovery; I found out I have to have some of my teeth removed (my least favorite thing to go through); and there’s hardly enough time in the day to accomplish the things on my to-do list. I find myself often either on the verge of tears or holding back snappish, bitchy comments. And I hate it.

But these are the days when music is most precious and most valuable. Because rather than remain under tension, I can cradle my guitar and turn the tap to let the ache out. Because there’s a song for every ill suffered. Angry? I can plug in The Balrog and let it rage and wail under my hands and I can scream angry lyrics to the walls. Sad? I can sing tragic songs until my guitar weeps with me. Hurting? I can find lyrics to address any hurt, be it emotional, physical, or psychological. Within the confines of the song, I am okay. I am taken care of. I am safe and whole. All that exists is the music, all that matters is the next note. And for a little while, that billboard with its angry little chalk letters can’t touch me.

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