A funny thing happened back in March. Not in the BEFORE TIMES, but right at the beginning of the PANDEMIC TIMES. I kept getting emails and texts and calls and messages all asking the same thing, “If I wanted to use this time to learn the ukulele, where would I start?”
Not long after that, a magazine editor sent out a call for pitches about trauma. I shot off a pitch, but later that night I started thinking about those first weeks when I tried to learn the ukulele amidst the clouds of chemo brain and the fear of cancer returning. I became obsessed with somehow documenting the journey of healing and growth upon which four tiny strings had taken me.
And of course, because I never do anything the easy way, I decided I should draw it.
So I did. And months passed.
I didn’t play the ukulele once during that time. I was out of song.
It took quite some time for the piece to find a home, but it eventually did. Over the past month I’ve been working with an editor to tweak it to fit with their publication, looking back at the first song I learned and remembering how happy playing makes me.
So funny that the week I finally decided to record another ukulele video is the same week my piece about playing the ukulele goes live. Oh, Universe. I guess we all like to show off sometimes.
I’d never heard of this song until my friend Karen sent it to me a few months ago. It’s as lovely and deceptively funny as she is. I ended up falling in love with the song, as I did with her, as I did with the ukulele.
Here is a link to the piece: After Cancer, She Taught Herself to Play the Ukulele
And here is a long overdue ukulele video for you. Happy Friday.