Back in 1975, a friend lent me a 14-year old Yamaha guitar to use whenever it was my turn to sing at the folk house that they owned. Then a year later, when he had to leave, he told me that his guitar was now in safe hands. I didn’t know what that meant then and had simply muttered that if he ever wanted it back, it would just be here waiting.
Since that time up till now, I must have owned at least more than six guitars which I used in gigs, but still regarded “Yammy” (I named her such) as my number one. She’d been my stage companion in all of my four years of singing in Manila up till my time here in Davao at Matina Town Square. That 58-year old G-50 Yamaha that can still hold its own against my others. Alas, she is now safely packed in a guitar case in our spare room, retired like its owner.
Old friends are so much like guitars, as each have a special connection with us. Aside from the music you had both created, there are the past experiences and countless adventures that had sprung forth and flowed between the two of you. Through time, they merely become endless snips of history, like literature pressed between bookends.
That is why a reunion with people you have not seen for a long time, becomes a truly special occasion. You and them are the bookends, and each of your old tales and account even, of new adventures, are the materials that you again read and share together.
One might have come across the phrase, “We make beautiful music together”. Truth is, beautiful or otherwise, everything shared between old friends, they be years spent together in school, work, love or war, weld the bonds of friendship tighter, till at last, you make room for more in your mind’s library.
This year-end is the time once again for reunions. Someone had joked that it’s a just a “repeat refrain” moment, because then, most of the tales and jokes are just rehashed, but who cares? It’s the joy of the company that counts. There may even be a bit of time travel involved, as reunions also mean a return, through the collective and shared memories, to what once was. Refreshing senti, yes, we all need it. Reconnecting is just like taking out that old guitar out of storage, and then playing back the years.