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Distance Can Create Perspective

February 22, 2023

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I watched her from a corner where she didn’t see me as tears spilled down her face, and she set her guitar back in its case.

She didn’t throw her instrument or treat it harshly. That’s something I would have done as I placed 100% of the blame on that damn instrument. Boston simply laid it in the case, and her shoulders and head remained low as she turned her back to walk away from it.

The next day I watched this same scene play out for the second time, and I wondered how many I had missed before. How many times did she walk away in tears, and I didn’t know it? How many times had she gone back after a break to try again?

I grabbed her, and I hugged her tight enough so that she’d feel the imprint of my body on hers even when we weren’t touching anymore.

I said to her, “tell me what hurts.”

And she cried, “it’s so hard. My fingers won’t work. I can’t get it right.”

“It’s time for a break,” I said. “It’s time to walk away before frustration turns to anger or resentment. You did the right thing and it’s okay to cry about it. This is tough, but so are you.”

Distance can sometimes create perspective when you’re too close to a creative project. Take a break and try again in a bit. You won’t feel the same when you come back. I’ve learned that the hard way many times over.

I let her go, and she spent some time alone.

The next day I picked up her guitar from the case, and I brought it to her because new skills require resilient training, and we have a rule in our house that you can’t quit on a bad day.

I laid her instrument in her lap, and I whispered, “try again.”

But I was really saying it to myself.


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