abba's way

Bereft of any sign at all


It is a truth I have had to face that I live in the now. Fashionable to say so, but it makes any disciplined effort to escape it, to do more than dimly represent things past, less easy than one might suppose. Today when I woke, the reality that rose up was so diffuse that thought was impossible. I was stuck. I could not bring about the conscious progression I have evolved. the gateway to constant, wondrous insight. I rose and tried to think, but my consciousness was bereft of any sign at all. There was only now. Enlightenment was not forthcoming.

I walked  slowly through the day, trying to get past yesterday. But I was afraid even to open  my current spiral notebook where there is a list that tries to fit events to years. What happens after GRG?

I know. I had already commenced The Instrument Finder, a business conducted from that ten- or eleven-room ramshackle home Ganya and I bought for a song in 1968. And yes. I had already found Ray Frank in those Berkshire Hills and driven up the twisty dirt road to his ramshackle place with my Martin D18 in tow. Learning to play the guitar all over again. Or was that later? Or earlier. Do I have to cleave to facts? Who cares? It is always the now. I’ll renew the coffee. Wait on me.

Ah!

The entire wall that went the length of  the long side of a sort of living room was hung with Gibson mandolins, Martin guitars, Paramount and Vega banjos, and all manner of fiddles. It mattered not that we were in a back street in the town of Stockbridge, tucked away. A hundred miles was no distance to come if the prize was the guitar of your dreams. I do not remember how this inventory grew as it did. I do not remember how I started from nothing. I do not remember my first sale. All I remember is that some long-forgotten lady of the Berkshires silk-screened me a t-shirt saying Instrument Finder in such lovely letters that it almost in itself assured that I would indeed find things by the simple device of getting into whatever car I had and driving endlessly until north of Rochester or in the center of Amherst or in a widow’s yard in Connecticut, I would come to own treasures that people were glad to get rid of. Yes, I soon learned that there were things so valued none would part with them. The trick was to find what folk were less-inclined to value. It took little time for me to become a dealer, primarily, in small-body Martin guitars. Somehow I turned a profit. This was well and good. Though there was a safety net, the family you may already know, I remained the bread-winner.

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