I surveyed the deep cracks around the neck of the guitar. Months of being left in a static state had affected both my guitar and my talent. My teacher had said that he wanted to see the guitar, along with me. I held it in my hands, walking towards him and smiled politely on seeing him. He tuned the guitar and played a tune along with my brother’s piano, wrinkling his brow every now and then. He turned it around, his eyes meeting the crack, then my eyes.
“Did you happen to drop it any time?”
“No, never. It was kept safely. The cracks happened probably because I never loosened the strings.”
“Tight strings could never cause this much damage. You did drop it.”
I stuck to my stance. He smiled and continued playing.
The raw tone of the guitar soon began plucking at my heart, the occasional screech giving me the high it always had. I stood there, waiting to be dismissed, but being unwillingly overcome by the powerful music. He continued making general remarks on the state of my instrument, remaining quiet for uncomfortably long intervals of time.
“You know, this is a talent given to a few by God. Not nurturing this God-given talent – this is the real sin.”
I smiled, trying to hide my shame. “Can’t this be fixed again?”
“Minor corrections can be made, but the clarity of its tone is lost forever. It hurts to play it now- physically.”
A weight descended upon my throat. I closed my eyes in shame. Slowly, I saw the metaphor presented explicitly by my broken guitar – a symbol of all things that I had taken for granted and had lost. Some things, like the broken guitar, could be fixed but not restored. I remembered another metaphor a psychologist once told us: the metaphor of the thread, that if a thread broke once, its pieces could be tied together again, but it would never be the same.
He smiled at me dejectedly and I carried back to my room, the vestiges of a thing taken for granted and lost for posterity.