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While my Guitar Gently Weeps

A lonely, forlorn guitar in the attic of the Greek Catholic University weeps gently. She is mine. Her name is Washburn. We got engaged a few years ago in a music store in Lviv. Until that day I always brought a guitar from the Netherlands when I travelled to Lviv.

Four times a year or so. For the connoisseurs: a Steinberger. Ideal for traveling. A guitar without tuning pegs that fits in a oversized violin case. Ukrainian Customs at Danylo International Airport, although they recognized me over time, were always a little suspicious. After all, there might as well be a machine gun in it! Time after time I had to unpack Steinberger, so that everyone was reassured.

Until my friends in Lviv said, “You come to Lviv so often.  It’s your second home. Your home is where your guitar is.” That was a very true word. So one happy day I got engaged to Washburn – exit Steinberger. We were happy together. I remember that phenomenal evening at the UCU summerschool ‘On the ethics of memory’ where we rocked and rolled until late in the evening with students from all over Ukraine.  We were a perfect couple.

Until two years ago.  Because of corona I couldn’t go to Lviv anymore. Too dangerous, forbidden, impossible.  Actually, she could bear it, there on her own in an attic of UCU.  But since February 24 I can hear her gently weeping.

“I look at the world and I notice that its turning

While my guitar gently weeps

With every mistake we must surely be learning

Still my guitar gently weeps”

Her tears are tears of anger, sadness and grief. She weeps because of lost lives. She weeps because she misses me – and I miss her. She weeps because our world has fallen apart and we will not be free until I hold her in my arms. As long as my fingers will frolic over her neck. But I promise you: someday that day will come. Until that glorious day, anyone who listens closely will hear her weeping gently and forlorn in the attic of the Ukraine Catholic University.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Jeff Lynn, Tom Petty, Prince and others)

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