Sunday, May 27, 2007

But you're the light on my shoulder*

Well, it's been a busy start of summer, and here again, I find myself in a state of not having blogged in ages.

There's been knitting, of course, in the last few weeks, but I've spent a fair bit of my free time playing my guitar, Stella. Stella is a G-series Takamine which I was gifted for my birthday last July. She's a beautiful instrument with a lovely warm sound and great sustain, but after nearly a year of piddling around with her, I'm still quite a mediocre guitarist. Well, that's not really fair; I'm still learning is all, but the net result has been that no one outside of my immediate family has yet heard me play. I'm a confident vocalist, and was at one time quite accomplished, so I'm not used to struggling musically. Adding an instrument has been a great challenge, but one that's loads of fun. Most importantly -- and this was the reason I wanted a guitar in the first place -- it's gotten me to sing more frequently.

So why all the practicing lately? I have a batch of friends who will be getting married in the next year or so (don't they always seem to come in waves?) and I've already been asked to sing and play for three of these weddings. So, I've been excitedly learning new songs and getting used to the idea of playing in front of audiences of a few hundred people. One song I've chosen is Susie Suh's "Light on My Shoulder." I love this piece so much. It's very simple and unpretentious, sentimental but not cloying. The lyrics are a bit spare and perhaps predictable, but somehow it seems to really work with the melody. I've not yet mastered the fingerpicking, but I've made the vocals my own, and I think it's going to come together very nicely.

The second song I've learned is Leslie Feist's "The Park." This one is even simpler to play: just three chords with minimal fingerpicking. My picking is not perfect yet, but I managed to get the pulloffs to sound quite nice as of this evening. Rather than the guitar, it was the similarity of Feist's voice to my own and a friend's (very correct) suggestion that I would love the song that originally attracted me to "The Park." I might tweak the somber lyrics on this one to make it more wedding-worthy, but it's a beautiful melody and will play to my strengths to good effect, I think.

Now the challenge is to knit something beautiful to wear to these weddings that will stay on as I strum. Maybe an elongated Clapotis...

Broadripple Socks: one complete, the second at about the 2/3 mark. Should be able to finish these this week sometime. I'm very happy with how they are turning out! The colors have pooled a bit, but I so love the combination of this colorway and pattern that it's not bothering me too much. I think my sister will adore them and can't wait to see her face when she opens the package. I think I'll wait to surprise her until we're around the fire with marshmallows in hand.

It's really hard to photograph socks when they are on your own feet. I'll get some better shots of them on my sis's feet in a few weeks.

The toe:

A little (unfocused) leg detail:

My weekend has been great. I went to a friend's house for game night with the girls on Friday... which involved the consumption of some of the best brownies I've made in ages and then devolved into fits of laughter and ultimately a broken dining room table. No irreparable harm was done (aside the ruined table) and our hostess was thrilled to be able to go buy a new dining set. Saturday, I joined a big group of friends in congratulating a favorite twosome from our gang on the happy occasion of their engagement! Lots of dancing around to 80s music... lots of silly toasts... lots of great food in even better company. And today, we took a boat outing with a small clutch of friends and enjoyed a fabulous dinner of grilled pork loin with my marbled mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus. The whole weekend was very chill and precisely what we all needed.

Some fun moments:

More soon. I hope these few electrons find you all happy and healthy.

It's easier to fall and harder to stand.
It's easier to cry and harder to laugh.
And I don’t know how, I don’t know why
But you’re the light on my shoulder
When I'm tired.
It's easier to run and harder to be still.
It's easier to think and harder to feel.
And I don’t know how, I don’t know why
But you’re the light on my shoulder
When I'm tired.
It's easier to hide and harder to trust.
It's easier to hate and harder to love.
And I don’t know how, I don’t know anything
But you’re the temper in my voice
When I sing.

- Susie Suh "Light on My Shoulder" (Susie Suh)


Kathy said...

Aaahhh! Such happiness! And I love that song, I just love it.

I may have changed my mind about getting married in the backyard. There are dogs, you see.

tiff said...

How's your nose picking?

xx A said...

Har dee har har, Tiff. Veeeeeeeery funny.