Is magic real? Are there actually wizards? Great musicians have the power to make us feel beauty. Feel joy. Forget our troubles. They conjure tones and colors and textures from wood, steel, air, finger tips, muscle, electricity, wires, soul. How do they do it? What’s the formula, recipe, diagram, how to book or rule? No scientist has the genuine explanation. They theorize this synapse, that nerve ending, that brain wave. They can’t put it in a bottle. It’s power.
As a guitar player, and not a particularly good one, I’m drawn to guitar players that do what I can’t. I’m drawn to expressive, lyrical, original, authentic, beautiful players who transport me to a better place. They do it seemingly effortlessly, blending in unity with the music around them. They create a fresh new world and share it with us mere mortals.
Jerry Garcia was that beautiful player. He didn’t play to show off with dexterity and flash. How would I know? I never met him. Just listen, it’s that simple. His music will explain it all. It’s as if his soul controlled levers and wires that ran through his body to his arms and out of his fingers to touch and strum the steel strings of his guitar. Bending, plucking, summoning the exquisite sound and releasing it into the air. Lyrical, real, intentional. Is magic real? Are there actually wizards? Yes.
I feel under the spell of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous bloodhound during my short bachelor days in Virginia. I’d graduated from college and was working my first gig at a bank. Newly engaged to my now wife, I thought a bit of reading would keep me out of trouble. While thumbing through a bookstore, I happened upon The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I had never read or been interested in reading any of the Holmes canon. Finding nothing else and attracted to the bargain bin low price, I figured I’d give it a try. The game was afoot!
I read the tome cover to cover(1,122 pages), becoming a Holmes nerd. With any storytelling, I’m drawn to character, place, atmosphere, and weirdness. Doyle checks all the boxes. Victorian London, gothic alleyways filled with pea soup fog, the weird crimes and friendship between Holmes and Watson, I was hooked. Even the rooms at 221 B. Baker Street are a little weird, even by twenty first century standards. I would even love to be a member of the Diogenes Club! My fav story has to be The Musgrave Ritual. A riddle, ancient manor, British Royal History, and a grisly murder. Give me an icy winter night, a fire, dim lighting, and a delicious beverage, and I’m fat and happy! What other Sherlock Holmes fans are lurking in the London shadows?
Owen R. Minter was inspired to write The Shrouded Sword, a fantasy story filled with ancient magic and time travel, after creating a drawing based on Arthurian legend. The Shrouded Sword is the first book in the Gramarye Cycle series. When he’s not writing, Owen makes paintings with a leaf blower, reads, and enjoys coaching Special Olympics Athletics.
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