feathers in the sand…


I left it alone in the corner for awhile,  my guitar.
Well,  for 7 years or so,  maybe a little more.
I just stopped playing after the operation that left my arm gimpy
and a dull  mad settled down inside.
I learned to use scissors again and then paint and doodle
and even dig and prune and row and throw the ball hard
for the dogs
but my guitar gathered dust and silence
and held her tongue about it.

Maybe when I lost the calluses on my fingers
they slid down inside
like a stone bruise to my heart
and when people would ask
I said I just didn’t play anymore
but what I really meant was that I wouldn’t sing those songs
and don’t go there
because the loss is stuck in my throat.


But I couldn’t shut her away in the closet
or stop rubbing the years from her face
or keep the songs from singing themselves anyway.
Life  kept tugging them out and love gave them wings
and the music rained down still
until the mad cracked and broke apart
and healing washed in the way it does
and just after Christmas I gave her new strings.

And how does she nestle so solid in my arms
and take me into hers as if nothing has passed between us
and unfold her haunting beauty
and that sound that stretches my heart wide open
sending me deeper into wonder,
farther into love
and isn’t that only what I ever always wanted?

And now somehow a door got opened,
the one that slammed shut so hard on my wing
that I had to put her down
and I’m finding the songs again
like feathers in the sand.


“Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
take these broken wings and learn to fly
all your life,
you were only waiting for this moment to arise.”
-The Beatles


  1. Just Be Real on February 2, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Oh wow, this was so very touching and to end with a Beatle song….wow. Jen, that is an awesome guitar! Don’t give up the gift. Blessings my dear hugs.

  2. Lynn on February 2, 2013 at 5:26 am

    How absolutely lovely. I could practically hear you playing the song after you guided me through that inspirational piece. So very happy for you.

  3. rachel awes on February 2, 2013 at 5:33 am

    new striiiiiiings!
    i feel like it’s your birthday…
    so, happy birthday jennifer!
    i’m giddy for you!
    i am so glad you brought her out…
    have you given her a name?
    (my guitar is “amy”…i haven’t played
    her in sometime as well…but she
    says hello!) xoxooo!!!

  4. Deborah on February 2, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Beautiful words and images…

    More importantly, this brings to mind my own struggle at the piano. I left it alone for a year and only recently began to play again. There is healing in that music.

  5. Nancy on February 2, 2013 at 7:03 am

    The first thing I thought of was there is a time and a season and I am so glad the season is here for you to sing and play that wonderful instrument….Freedom she is out and you are loving her…what more could be said…..

  6. Julia Bourque on February 2, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m so glad that you brought your guitar back from the closet and have started to give it the attention it deserves. She has mourned long enough.

    Healing lays dormant to be awaken by music sometimes, it gladdens the heart and awakens the soul. Music is surely food for the soul.

    I hung up my violin too after a breast cancer operation and I had just begun to learn play.
    My arm was unreceptive of it’s demand and years later, my violin is still a lonely piece of wood and strings looking at me from it’s lonely perch and mourning still.
    Play for me.

  7. Kathy on February 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Oh! So beautiful, Jennifer. Wow, this tugged at my heartstrings. Things find us when we are ready, don’t they? Love to you, kathy

  8. Louise Gallagher on February 2, 2013 at 9:17 am

    This is so beautiful and powerful.

    I love that your heart
    sees you
    to sing
    and play
    and be part of
    the music
    of your soul
    rising up.

  9. jeanie on February 2, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Oh, Jenn, how beautiful — and how wonderful to become reacquainted with this old friend, learning the ins, outs and idiosyncracies of this new relationship. Smiles.

  10. Lindsay on February 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Wonderful! I didn’t know you had a musicians’ soul! 🙂 I want to learn some instruments too but a lack of confidence and procrastination is keeping me away from it.. hmm maybe this month I’ll take the leap. 🙂 Thanks for inspiring me, as always.


  11. leslie on February 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    my husband stopped playing his guitar for some years, too. he has come back to it, as well, and we are so glad to hear his music through our home again…

  12. Bren on February 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    You just blow me away with your words. I never stop being amazed at how you pack so much emotion into those phrases, all of them so raw and real. Talk about a reawakening, you finding your music again, got to love it!

  13. Connie Smiley on February 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    That’s wonderful, Jennifer! I think a little of that strumming drifted here on the breeze, and it was lovely, as are your words.

  14. Nancy on February 3, 2013 at 6:11 am

    So nice to be reacquainted with an old friend. Lovely post, Jenn.

  15. Maggie Mallard on February 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I can just see you now replacing your strings and opening up your heart once again to this old blessing in your life.
    This is a marvelous post and gives me hope that one day I might pick up my pen again.
    God is good and it seems He is giving both of us a new chance to release the past and Live.
    Thank you for giving us all hope!
    Love ya

  16. CherryPie on February 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    how lovely that she called loudly enough for you to pick her up again.

  17. ELK on February 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    music has a way of reaching us at different seasons in our lives … so happy to know that you are reacquainting yourself with your guitar… it can be such a joy!!

  18. Mom on February 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Ah!!! SO happy to hear this and to know that you’re fulfilling more of your destiny!
    Go, girl, GO!! AND ENJOY!!! Beautiful way of expressing it, too!

  19. S. Etole on February 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    This makes my heart sing for you.

  20. Barbara on February 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Such a beautiful tribute to love and forgiveness, Jennifer. I’m so glad you gave her another chance. I can only imagine the music the two of you make together!!

  21. kathryn on February 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    how exciting to reclaim a lost part of yourself! i have a violin that is calling out to me as well…one day i will play it again as well!! have fun!!

  22. Jema on February 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I love your spirit, your fighting spirit! Go and sing blackbird, loud and free.

  23. erin leigh on February 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

    wow. hope forgiveness. joy. congratulations on your reaquainted friend. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to hear! xoxo e

  24. Relyn on February 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Oh, I know your guitar is glad you’ve finally made it back home to it. I can just see your creative fingers in the strings – more creating. This time music instead of visual poetry.

  25. Sue on March 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Jennifer- I didn’t know that you used to play, how wonderful that you are able to get back to that creative joy. Love the quote from the Beatles too!!!

Leave a Comment