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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Send Off

Some of the best moments in life are the ones where you find yourself in a place you had no intention of being, where you commit to be a part of something you really didn't want to, and as a result you end up having one of the greatest experiences of your life and find yourself surrounded by some of the greatest people you've ever met. People that you will never forget.  People that you will always wish nothing but the best for.  People you will forever consider friend and forever be grateful to have been given the chance to know them.

It all happens when someone approaches you and says something like, "I heard from someone who heard from someone that you can sing."  And even after you admit that you haven't performed or been a part of anything musical in years, you are suddenly convinced, through listening to the fact that none of them had been consistently playing in years, you may as well give this a shot because... it just might be good for you.  After all, you'd pretty much been sitting there doing next to nothing but surviving anyway, so why not add a little color to your life?  And the next thing you know, you're standing in a room with five people from five walks of life and five different backgrounds and they all seem to be having this moment of, "Not sure what I'm doing here but... let's rock."

After a while, you find that you're all sort of standing there in awe of the music that you just created.  You're all thinking that this may be the most beautifully bizarre meeting you've ever had because for the first time in who knows how long, maybe ever, you realize that you are sharing a musical space together that you never expected -- it was good.  The sound you created was good, the musicianship was stellar, and the only place to go was up.  And you found yourself looking forward to this practice and that practice, and this performance and that performance because, while it all had purpose and meaning, it just felt so good to be together.

You soon realize that, through music, you had all become friends.  You crack jokes and swap stories.  You branch out and hang out, you jam here and there, but you start to learn what makes each person tick and you realize that a part of the synergy between you all is based on a balance of personalities and character -- where one might be weak another is strong, and when one falls down the other picks them up.  It became a space where you celebrated each others triumphs and you supported each other though struggles.  It became a space where honesty was the best policy, no matter how intimidating that may have been at times, and it was a space where you all had a say and you worked together for good.  But as with anything in life, nothing stays the same for too long.

Things happen. Babies are being born. Work gets in the way.  Stress and lack of time become major players.  Health problems sneak in.  Relationship troubles creep up from the shadows.  Priorities that demand more attention take away from "the fun."  Communication breakdowns, changes in the game plan, curve balls and strike outs... Suddenly the winning season was last year's news and the next round looks like the team is facing some injuries and recovery time is required.  But regardless, you have all created something between you much more beautiful than just good music.  

And even when you walk away from something that you loved so much, in an attempt to catch up on everything else, or to recover and heal, or to forgive and forget, the bonds that were created between you remain as strong, if not stronger, than they were when you picked up your instruments and played.  You've all grown to understand one another.  You've learned to recognize your lives as works in progress, and you all have seen the progress that each one has made -- musically, professionally, and personally.  And with the passing of time, those things that seem like road blocks or set backs level off and are overcome.  And you were all there to work through everything together -- friends first, musicians second.

And then one day, after everything in between, the time comes when you find yourselves together one last time, friends first and musicians second.  Everyone's life has taken a turn in which this musical setting that brought you all together has finally reached its end.  And you find yourselves walking into that space feeling the same joy as always, but this time there's a tinge of melancholy as you work together to bring a positive send off to something that you all consider a solid and common bond -- full of beauty and good times and good memories and good music.

You all play together now knowing that each individual path is veering off to a new journey and a new experience, but you play together knowing that each individual is only a phone call away.  Your friendships are beyond valuable and definitely one of the brightest moments throughout this musical experience you all have shared.

Music is in the soul, but friendship resides there also.


  1. It has been a beautiful journey, that will forever stay in my heart! Even though I was just the "manager"! Ha! Love ya Pandora!!

    1. Right back at ya!

      You are obviously a big part of this too. :-)