I bought another stringed instrument. An electric base guitar. Which I thought my wife might like to play around with, being that the banjo I have been torturing is too high and twangy for her liking. She wasn’t interested, but I am. I got it at a scratch and dent sale, puttied a gash in the body and picked up an amp. The amp wasn’t the right amp and yesterday I had an adventure of sorts finding another one. Ran into a character at a guitar shop in Independence whose solution to bifocals was to wear two pair of glasses at a time. Turns out we had a mutual acquaintance which inspired this fellow to take the amp from 50 to 40 bucks. Which I bought. I am not a guitar player, or a banjo player. Like golf, these are things that I never gave a moments thought for 40+ years (I’m 46 now), but which, having discovered, perhaps by process of elimination, I now find tremendously rewarding and enjoyable. Part of it is being past the point in life where I take my self so seriously. I will never be a good golfer or banjo player or base player which means I am completely free to be a bad one. Which means I can discover the pleasures of these activities organically. Which is what I am now doing with the base. What a cool thing it is. Just to pluck a low low string and feel it vibrate. To play with the different sounds and the different combinations of sound. I feel as close to a child in a woods for the first time as I have in a long time. It’s nice to talk to people and be perfectly comfortable saying I am trying to learn something, as opposed to having some self consciousness about what their expectations are, or what my expectations are. My new motto for middle age is: if it worth doing it’s worth doing badly. Not to malign doing things well, but just to free myself up to try things I don’t have to worry about mastering. Which means I can just play.