I advertised on the Internet (craigslist) for months for people to jam with, and I responded to a few ads from other people. I corresponded with 20-30 people. Most of them, even those who initially sounded most enthusiastic, drifted away. One night I had three people at my home to make music and another night, just one person. Of those, only one came back. I knew right away that he and I were kindred spirits. People often unwittingly expose their personalities when they play music, and he certainly did. I could tell that he had real talent and a good "sense" of music, even though his skill level was not the greatest. He later told me that this was because he had not played much in the last couple of years. He started practicing again and his sound really improved. We talked about lots of things, some of them personal and intense, and I felt that we were getting to be closer friends. (This is NOT a romance.)
My new friend and I independently discovered a third person who wanted to jam, and the three of us got along so well. Musician #3 is very talented and very accomplished. She did a good job of leading us musically at times. Musician #2 dubbed her "Maestro," and, when I wrote an email to her, I started with "Dear Maestro." I was quite astonished when she told me that she had never played music with other people before because she thought she was not good enough. I gave her a lot of praise. The three of us talked about our careers, our families/relationships, our spiritualities, and gave each other kind advice, strong support, and warm praise. I felt that we all got along very well, both musically and personally. A couple of times we did some unusual and great jamming. We would just agree on a key and nothing else and then just play together. We fed off of each other musically so well. We each tried new things while we were jamming free form, and we felt relaxed enough with each other to experiment. I don't know how to describe this experience in words. We were three-in-one. It happened several times, and it was always wonderful, beautiful, and exciting.
We were becoming more enmeshed with each other, both personally and musically -- or so I thought. About two weeks ago, musician #3 called me and told me that she could not play with us any more. She used a very thin excuse. I was dumbfounded and hurt. I remembered her saying that she looked forward to getting together all week, that she had told her friends how exciting it was, that she was "totally happy" when playing together. I called musician #2 and he was as surprised as I was. He suggested that we talk to her about it and I agreed.
About a week later, musician #2 told me that he felt that he needed to go off in another musical direction for a while. He had met someone who teaches flamenco guitar and he wanted to learn that genre. Oh, no! I'm so disappointed that he's dropping out, but I'm not surprised. He was always kind of "iffy" about getting together to play with us, although he seemed really happy when we were playing together. I think this is part of a broader issue with his personality -- his behavior says "Don't count on me." He is unreliable, an unusual trait in an ACOA.
This is harder to write about than I anticipated. It's hard to put such strong feelings into words. It's hard to describe that wonderful "Zen" experience we had together. I feel so terribly disappointed that both of my wonderful new musician friends have decided to drop out.