Sanctuary Reconstruction

Having lost everything of material value several times now in this lifetime has instilled a delightfully persistent sense of surreality in every endeavor committed to between occurrances of such unexpected privation. This surreality isn't derived so much from impact severity of loss as from wildly exhilarating expansion of possibilities afterward. Always open-minded and adventuresome, taking risks and enjoying outcomes during these subsequent periods of renewal seems as natural as it does during any moment I'm still able to draw breath and have intriguing thoughts flying about in a mysteriously active mind operating nonstop without much concern over details of disaster recovery. It has experienced it all before. No big deal. May as well have some fun during the after-loss process. And one of the sweetest, most satisfying aspects of this process is sanctuary reconstruction.


Starting a new home, carefully choosing new stuff to put into it, arranging the stuff to maximize comfort and convenience, then settling in to enjoy it all is important but even more important is a less concrete feature of sanctuary which only arises as deep satisfaction derived from frequent and fervent creative action. Without that, a new home and all of its shiny new accoutrements are of little personal value, if any at all. A house without creativity surging and subsiding within on a daily basis is just a lousy box full of stuff and stale air.


So after lengthy research to determine what kind of new home to build and all the basic essentials required for habitation (furniture, appliances, clothing, bedding, supplies...) comes the most fun part: sanctuary reconstruction. For myself that means a studio where extended play at whatever creative activity strikes my fancy can happen. One activity of particular persistence in life so far has been music making. To make music requires musical instruments and even though the relentless passage of time and the pandemic have taken their toll driving some of my favorite musical instrument makers out of business there are some new makers out there designing and making exciting new instruments I want to get hands on and play. Ones which stand out most for me during this sanctuary reconstruction phase of life includes a young artist in Lithuania stumbled upon (with a bit help from Youtube AI) while trying to find someone making fretless electric guitars. There aren't many and even though a few makers were applying aspects of design which were interesting (like glass fingerboards) none grabbed my attention more intensely than Rapolas Gražys and his Lava Drops guitars.

Rapolas is wielding considerably well-developed talent and skills leveraging subtle intensity of natural elements and performance-proven modern technologies to produce instruments which instantly grabbed and held my attention. He has also provided ample and superbly produced audio-visual material online to convey enough information about them (like this video of Tommy Emmanuel trying out a couple of his guitars) for me to visit his website and decide to ask him if he might be willing to make a couple of his custom guitars for me–an amateur with no notoriety beyond a few private regional venues and one now defunct mountain town music festival. He graciously agreed to make them and is in the process of doing so as I write about it here, recently sending this closeup of a fretless Lava Unibody Drop in its current state of creation.


In the meantime sanctuary reconstruction enthusiastically continues here with addition of other new instruments (the new mandolin has arrived) and equipment for making more of my meager but wholly self-satisfying music. And even though I am not famous, I don't create music in a total vacuum, fully expecting as people hear and see me playing these instruments created by Rapolas that they'll be as intrigued as I am.

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