“God is the Strength of my Heart”

by Jinryu

… is the name of the Christan Contemporary Revival song that I’m learning to play on guitar.

Music has always been of great interest to me because of the way that a simple progression of notes can be compounded to make something really great.  First, I learned the first few chords of the song.  Then, we moved on to strumming patterns and rhythm.  Then it was accents.

All the while, with every lesson, the song gets longer and longer as I’m introduced to new phrases to the song.  And every week, one or two new technical things are introduced that completely change the way I look at guitar playing.

On a very basic level, imagine yourself pressing a key on a keyboard.  There’s essentially only one way to do it– it’s 1 or 0, the key is either pressed or it isn’t.  But guitar playing, like all music, offers so much more… this week, he started teaching me how to mute strings rhythmically in the middle of phrases.  That completely killed me, because everything I had previously learned to do properly suddenly became difficult all over again, because being ready to mute requires a different grip from what I was using.  Back to square one, essentially.

Anyway, all this is to say that I’m enjoying the challenge.  The nice part about starting something new is that the learning curve is so high.  When you start off an activity, you’re just like a tourist– everything is amazing and fresh and new. 

…it’ll be a different story I suppose once I get good enough that every little improovement will be a tedious uphill battle…

I’ve taken a lot of time lately to smooth out details.  This, I think, is one of those processes that is the ‘tricks’ I have to feeling good about myself.  I think in the past, I was looking everywhere for something interesting or at times, anything at all, to do.  In most cases, there are plenty of things that need to be done, it’s just that we overlook them.  And it’s not that I enjoy doing work– but small details generally are the little things that bring you close to getting something just right.  Getting closer or just getting it is what gives you that feeling of accomplishment that you need to get you through your life.  A half ass job just makes you feel like you spent some time, but going all the way and seeing progress from it really makes my day.

Guitar is one of those things of course.  Taekwondo is another, and not even just in the scope of TKD itself.  Like guitar, half of the experience of these activities is exposing myself to native Koreans who are talking to me.  Slowly but surely some of those words are sticking.

In other news, I finally got around to cleaning up my classroom’s piles of papers.  I had some tests from over a month ago, along with bookreports and other things that I completely forgot about.  Now my room is in order so I can get onto more important things.

I’ve also noticed that I really really enjoy adding things to my home.  I mean, furniture.  Just re-arringing things.  Customizing it.  It follows largely one philosphy of gaming where you ‘minmax’ to get the most function out of your tools.  I just enjoy it.  Not that I’m a home decorator, and truth be told, my furniture doens’t match at all, but I just take great joy in making my place a more and more functional base of operations.

I just… really don’t understand how someone can live somewhere and NOT make it their personal space.