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Lockdown Lemonade #45 by Debbie Newman

Gifts from My Constant Companion

I have always been a professional audience participant. I love hearing live music. I study the lyrics to glimpse the meanings and feelings behind each song. I love to see the poetry and how carefully each line is crafted. I can’t help but sing along to my favorites.

I have a Yamaha classical guitar that has been sitting in my bedroom corner for a few decades now. It was given to me by a boyfriend because I told him I wanted to learn to play. I let life get in the way and never took it out of its case. The guitar quietly and slowly aged in that corner, all alone.

Then the lockdown happened. Everything was frozen in time and place. With a lot of time on my hands, I discovered the many musicians streaming online. They were a lifeline to hope and beauty during these dark times. In particular, I found myself listening to the daily Dan Navarro live streams. I loved his lyrics and melodies. I finally got brave enough to take one of his songwriting workshops. I have never been creative in my life before and I had such a great time learning the basics of songwriting. But you need melodies to go with the lyrics. So I took that guitar in the corner out of its case and finally started learning how to play.

Music is so powerful. It reaches across all languages and cultures. It barges into our souls without an apology and removes barriers from our hearts. This past year, I have been moved to tears and joy from the many musicians streaming online. Thank God music was there. It became my constant companion. My love of music during the lockdown finally gave me the courage to create music of my own.

~ Debbie Newman

The majority of Debbie’s working career was as a computer programmer. She has been retired for the past 4 years and is enjoying it immensely. Debbie is a lover of nature and time spent in walks along the seashore or open spaces in Orange County, California.   She enjoy gardening, singing, dancing, spending time with her boyfriend and friends and attempting to write songs.


Lockdown Lemonade is FAR-West’s response to the dramatic and drastic shifts of 2020’s global health and economic crises. For many, this cultural reckoning and political upheaval spurred a period of personal reflection and the discovery of coping mechanisms some of us didn’t even know we had. Lockdown Lemonade is a look at the bright side. With this collection of flash creative nonfiction, brief personal essays, recollections, and musings from members of our community, we hope to shine a light on the best things that can and have come out of the most challenging of times. This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at julieZ@far-west.org or Marlynn Block at marlynn@far-west.org Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.

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