Recently I was asked if I’d be interested in reading – and then reviewing – the work of a friend and fellow cruiser. Quite apart from the honor of being asked, I was tickled at the opportunity for a view inside the mind of another writer, and someone I’ve shared snacks aboard with, to boot.
I said yes.
The book is called “Learning from a Uke”, written by T. J Akey. Tim and his wife Deb have been out there aboard the s/v Kintala doing this cruising thing for a goodly time – something I respect a great deal. Add in the fact that they are just genuinely nice people, AND former pilots like me and, we’ll, it’s a good fit.
The book is short, as books go, but there’s no lack of pith if you’re the sort who’s willing to read a book for what it offers you, rather than just to have read it. Akey’s unlikely subject is a blue soprano ukulele, perhaps as unassuming an oracle as you’ll ever find, but if that instrument could speak…
The idea of Ukulele-as-mentor would not have occurred to just anyone, I’m sure. Certainly it has not occurred to me, and yet the parallel is sweetly apt. Some tasks or skills invite us to delve deeper, to think harder, to explore dark corners of ourselves that we’ve avoided before, and certainly learning to produce music – simple or complex – offers room for the occasional epiphany.
Tim Akey’s journey is reminiscent of the writings of Richard Bach, that well-loved philosopher pilot who’s musings entertained and provoked a generation of novice metaphysical thinkers. He teases out meaning and significance where we least expect to find it, and entertains us along the way. A short book, yes. But the first step in a long journey of connections.
If I’ve piqued your interest, take a walk over to Amazon and pick it up. It’s a little book, with a big message.
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