Today I pulled the guitar out from behind the sofa for the first time in a month or so. I played a couple of old Christmas songs, and then the half dozen or so others I always play on the nowadays-rare occasions when I dust the thing off.
I don't have any reason to do this other than it's mildly relaxing and I'm worried if I don't I will forget how—and that seems a shame. But it's been literally years since I jammed with anyone else, let alone played in a band or performed in any way.
This state of affairs is something that snuck up on me.
Throughout my teens and early twenties, music was a gigantic part of my life. It was the common denominator among all of the few friendships I had as a teenager; most of the time I spent with them was jamming or recording music. As a kid I played on the band at my family's church, was part of a rather awful attempt at a rock band in my late teens and at college I was involved several groups where music was a regular activity.
It wasn't just because I was interested in playing music or enjoyed it—I was—but just as much that nearly everyone around me played, and it was a natural part of the social fabric of most of my relationships with individuals and organizations. It was something intimate that I did with my best friends, and it was a way I bonded with people I'd never met before.
Instruments themselves were something I talked about and obsessed over and collected the way that people I know now talk about cars or boats. Playing those instruments was something I did on meticulously rehearsed Sunday mornings; something that spontaneously happened around Friday night bonfires or on porches during lazy summer afternoons.
And that's why it really feels like another lifetime when I think back on it. Today, I'm not a part of any band. I don't go to church or participate in any other groups where music is a thing. Heck, I'm not sure if I even know anyone now who plays guitar.
There are many things about that time in my life that I don't look back on wistfully at all. Things I'm glad I've moved beyond. But I hope I didn't somehow leave music with it.
Looking forward into what—barring some unforeseen catastrophe—appears to be another decade on this planet, I hope I can find some sort of community where music can be a part of things again.
Till then, I'll keep taking the old Taylor out from behind the sofa every few weeks.