From the Editor's Desk...

The harmonica. I know how it sounds. (He he. Pun definitely intended.) A book about the harmonica that is supposed to teach about life and be fun and entertaining while we’re at it?

Yes, and I’ll tell you why.

The author, Sam Barry, has lived. Not in the normal sense we think of when we consider a person who lives life to the fullest. He’s not a daredevil, or at least he hasn’t told me so, though he has played in his share of rock bands—on the harmonica, if you can believe it.

When I say Sam has lived, I mean that he’s spent his life looking for ways to have fun, and not necessarily in the college freshman get-drunk-in-Vegas-get-married-and-lose-your-tuition-money kind of way.

As Sam writes, “We’ve been taking ourselves far too seriously for far too long, and as a result we’ve made a complete mess of things. . . . It’s time we tapped into a gift every human (and every puppy) owns—one we’re all born with—playfulness.”

So how do we become more playful? Well, I’m not about to give all that away, but I will tell you that Sam’s version includes a harmonica and the willingness to make a fool of himself on occasion.

But I will tell you that I’ve learned a few lessons during the past year I’ve been working with Sam on How to Play the Harmonica. I’ve stopped expecting the world to be perfect and have taken it for what it is: an opportunity to grow and play. I’ve laughed out loud as I worked—and felt the better for it. I’m learning to stop stifling my creativity and let all those glorious creative juices flow.

Did reading this book do all those things for me? Not completely. What it did do was help me recognize all the humdrum and standard ways I’ve been doing things because I thought that’s how it was supposed to be. It’s not. I can tell you, life will be more full and enjoyable when you stop listening to the prescribed way of “This is how it’s done” and let yourself get a little playful. We can all use a little bit of play in our lives.

If you are ready to take Sam’s challenge and live the playful way, I suggest you reserve a copy of How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons. Come on, you know you want to.
-- by Michelle Witte

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