The Story of My Guitar by Amahra Jaxen

Guest Article by Amahra Jaxen

My grandfather bought
me my first guitar when I was 15 and living in Brisbane Australia. After strumming my friend’s guitar I was hooked. I could make sound from it, but I needed to make music. I signed up for classes every Saturday learning classical, folk and flamenco.

At age 16 I suffered a horrific horse accident. Barely conscious I realized I was viewing my horrified parents through a long tunnel. It was a near death experience that my Cranial Physiotherapist said no one should have survived. Yet by some miracle I did. It put me on the Shaman’s path, where one develops the ability to heal others through healing oneself. I became a Reiki Master, studied Cranio Sacral Therapy and Connective Tissue Decompression and Trauma Release.

Unable to walk properly or attend school for two months, I propped myself up in bed and played my guitar for hours. It was my distraction from the pain, trauma and loneliness. Fast track to 1981 in Vancouver, my guitar was stolen from my car. After trying many models at Ward Music, I was drawn to a Ryoji Matsuoka flamenco guitar; she is still beautiful at 39 years of age.

For 39 years my guitar was a  joy to play. I’d sometimes sing at church Sunday morning, and my guitar accompanied me to gatherings at friend’s homes, getting passed around the room to others who could play. It’s so wonderful to connect through music and song. When busy with a new marriage and new baby, my guitar sat neglected in her case in the closet for a year. 

Then through the break up of my marriage a few years later, I knew I needed an outlet for difficult emotions I couldn’t put into words. I could work out my anger pounding out a flamenco song, release my sadness by playing a poignant classical piece, or sing a folk song. Those were the times when my guitar spoke for me. 

I moved to Denver for three years; like an anxious parent I refused to stow my expensive guitar in the baggage hold. I demanded that they find somewhere in the cabin for it. While I was standing on the boarding ramp at the door of the plane, I felt led to walk over to the window and look down. Always trust your female intuition. There sitting on the tarmac below was my guitar case! The flight attendant was swiftly informed and someone was sent down to fetch my guitar up.

At barbecues, gatherings and while visiting friends up in the mountains above Denver, my guitar came out for song time and campfire entertainment. There’s nothing nicer than sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing songs accompanied by a guitar. It is the ultimate nature bonding experience.

After moving back to Vancouver, I sometimes accompanied my dad on the guitar while he sang, or did a duet. Sometimes we performed at our local Legion in West Vancouver. When a prominent Vancouver musician I dated needed flamenco strumming in the background of his new album song, well, that was me on my guitar.

Over the years I usually played my guitar alone, learning dozens of new songs. I was blessed with the ability to learn very quickly.  I wasn’t comfortable performing in front of strangers in a public setting, until I pushed through my fear and did it anyway. My guitar helped me with that. I volunteered to play and sing in the cafeteria at the West Van Seniors centre, providing some background music. Then I began playing some Saturday evenings at the Red Lion pub.  I’m told I sound like Joni Mitchell.

 Last summer while practicing outside in Dundarave Park, a lovely Asian lady with an online platform in China asked if she could livestream me. After 45 minutes, I had 13,000 people viewing me and offering hundreds of comments. Quarantined in their homes they were thrilled to watch something out of the ordinary. The amazing power of social media! I received scores of dinner invitations if I ever visited China!

Several years ago I joined the music program at North Shore Alliance Church. As things opened up, I was asked to lead the songs for my Ladies Bible study group on Wednesday mornings. This has been my greatest joy with my guitar to date.

Over the last 39 years this guitar has brought comfort, solace, fun with friends, unusual experiences, growth, emotional balance, new friends, duets with my dad, and now the blessing of ministering God’s love to others.

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Amahra Jaxen is a Musician, Published Author (8 Chakra articles in “True Blue Spirit” magazine and 2 articles in Billionaire Parenting) and a Healer for over 37 years using Cranio-sacral therapy, tissue decompression, and Reiki energy, to release physical and emotional pain.

Amahra’s greatest joys are ministering through her music, her wonderful circle of family, mentors, & friends and her gifted son. She has the ability to see the emotional truth in a situation and is a firm believer in stating that truth, whether through using a big heart or a big stick… Depending on which is most required, lol.

While her Instagram page is for friends & family, she is currently working on a public one that will cover topics related to Healing, Music, and Spirit.

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