James Stephens and the Well-Packed Question
What happens when we ask questions in our guitar practice? Anything? What if we don’t know the answer?
What might a question do to our attention? Do we choose where to point our attention, or does the squeakiest wheel automatically get the worm? Are we curious about different things at different times?
And when are the best times to ask questions? Before practice? Or during? Or just after? What about at other times? Could that be helpful in any way?
And are some questions more useful than others? What if we’re pragmatic and don’t want to waste any questions?
For instance, what kinds of questions could help us to play more smoothly? What kinds might inspire us to look a little closer at the small details? Could asking a particular question help us to understand our music better? What about playing faster, or cleaner, or more expressively?
But what if we don’t have much time for guitar practice? Could asking any specific questions keep our music alive in our minds, even if our hands never touch the guitar?
And what if we’re not used to asking questions? Could just the occasional question do any good?
Is it safe to experiment?
We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.