I was (am) heartbroken when this was alluded to a few weeks ago. I have two younger kids and simply can't imagine what you've gone through. I hope this doesn't come across in any way trite, but I recently read a book called "Man's Search for Meaning." The author was a Holocaust survivor and a prominent psychologist. I picked it up b/c I battle with depression and it got pretty bad last year and early this year (trivial in comparison). Anyway, in the beginning, he quotes Nietzche (I have a degree in philosophy, so stuff like this grabs my attention immediately) to illustrate the force behind the book:
"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."
I've always been searching for purpose and meaning in my life and this quote hit me like a hammer. So much so, it's going to be my first tattoo I've ever gotten (I'm 49). It got my brain cells tingly and I think about that saying multiple times a day. There's another quote in the book by the author that may go on my other arm (paraphrased to make sense for me):
"What will be the monument of your existence?"
The reason I bring this up is because I realized something about building guitars and what the purpose is for me in making them. Not that I've finished many (yet), but when I see another human being creating music with a guitar that I built there's a certain sense of joy that I've never experienced before. That person, playing my guitar, is also experiencing joy (I hope) in bringing their ideas to life. On an even bigger level, most of the guitars I build will provide that joy for people long, long after I'm gone.
I often think about the guy who built Slash's Les Paul copy that he used for recording "Appetite." He passed shortly before the album came out and he never got to hear or what his guitar did for the world in one man's hands. 30 years later, that guitar STILL brings happiness to people, whether it be through the recorded songs or live at a concert (assuming he plays that one live any more).
Anyway, not sure what my main point is here, but the guitars you built as tributes to your sons, I assume, hopefully, aid in your grieving process. But, outside of that, you've created other stunning instruments over the years - and shared your tips, advice, etc. to MANY of us here - that lead/will lead to the creation of joy in others, whether it be through someone playing one of your guitars in their bedroom every day or in front of 5,000 people every night, or, by extension, one of us finishing a guitar due to your assistance and/or inspiration. I hope that can be something that keeps you going.
I hope nothing I said was insensitive or patronizing. My wife has lost her brother (he was 49, died of natural causes unexpectedly the week all the lockdowns happened last March 2020) and her father two weeks ago. I've written both of their obituaries and this stuff makes me go deep into my head.
So the update on the Samurai inlay is that I started cutting a couple pieces and realized very quickly that while I could do this, with the sheer number of pieces involved and the amount of time it takes to cut and shape each piece to fit precisely, and my available time for project work, it will literally take me months of evenings and weekends to complete it. more than I Want to spend. I would like to shoot the finish in september.
so I’m looking into have it made for me like I did with the Phoenix inlay.
The result is far more significant to me than how I got there, and honestly, it will be a better result this way as well. I built the guitar, did the headstock inlay, and came up with the idea of the large one. That’s good enough. Now I’ll let a professional make it, and I'll put it in the guitar, and get a great outcome