Blood On My Strings

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Last night, I performed at a weekly open mic, at a church that’s about 30 minutes away.

I really enjoy ministering there, because they’re a good group of people, they really listen to my songs, and I know that I’m making a difference in their lives.

Last night, about 2/3 of the way through my first song, as I changed to a different chord fingering on my 12-string guitar, I felt something that I had never felt before:

A very sharp pain in the fingertip of my left hand’s middle finger.

But I kept playing anyway.

When I finished that song, I examined my left hand’s fingertips.

There was a stream of blood coming out of my middle finger’s fingertip.

And blood on my other fingers.

And all over the first few inches of my guitar’s middle-6 strings.

It was obvious that the blood was coming from underneath my middle finger’s fingernail. I quickly realized that, in a truly freak, mis-fingering accident, one of my thin, high strings had slipped between that fingertip and its fingernail, and had cut into the tender flesh underneath the nail.

So someone in the audience brought me a napkin, and I used it to stop the flow of blood from my fingertip. I couldn’t wipe off any of the blood on my guitar strings, because it had already dried.

So I told a short story, to stall for a minute or two, and then I performed two more songs. My middle finger hurt the whole time, but nowhere near as much as it had at first.

When I finished my third song, I discovered that my finger had been bleeding again. There was blood all up and down all 12 guitar strings, as well as all up and down my guitar’s fingerboard, with drops of blood collected on a few of its metal frets.

So I stepped off-stage, got another napkin, and held it on my finger tip, to stop the bleeding.

And then I carried my guitar into the church’s kitchen, where I slightly wetted the napkin and used it to carefully clean the blood off of my guitar and its strings.

Many people believe that, in order to be a truly great artist, one must really suffer for their art.

If that’s true, then last night’s injury, as dramatic as it looked, only qualifies me to be a very poor artist.

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