You can't do it all...

I had a fabulous weekend.

On Friday, I travelled down to Portsmouth via coach to meet the members of a band I used to be in - The Great Imperial Yo-Yo.

We rehearsed in this shed, not far from Petersfield in Hampshire, for the first time in thirteen years.

In a valley behind Butser hill.

As you may have read below, I have had some unexpected expenses recently and would have been justified in cancelling what may be seen as an extravagant and unnecessary trip.

One phrase which kept coming to my mind and cropping up in conversation was "You can't do everything."

We all have children (or are about to) and jobs, one of the band members lives in Sweden and yet, we all happily made the necessary sacrifices to come together this weekend.

When five fellows of an artistic bent get together who haven't seen each other for thirteen years, there is a lot that could be said.

It's the same with the music too - I've been rehearsing at home for this weekend and have had lots ideas about amusing things to play.

But you can't play everything.

You can't say everything.

What I liked best about this weekend was that we created new moments, new songs and made new plans. Although we have some common threads of history, our getting together didn't rely on nostalgia - we have enough in common to create new moments and new music right now.

Less is taken for granted when travelling and visiting with people you don't often see - there's no expectation to behave in a certain way. When you know your time together is limited, character traits that could be annoying may be overlooked more easily than if you had to live with them on a daily basis. :-)

I met with another old friend before leaving Portsmouth. We sat, drinking outside a traditional English pub just before the sun had to go home for tea. My friend and I used to listen to music together and I've never had a problem being honest with him. I learn a lot from friends like this.

Like improvised music, a good conversation requires a deal of listening, timing and spontaneity. It requires a degree of humility without which, one speaker or musician says too much and tips the balance. The surroundings - internal and external - inform the dialogue of the music / music of the dialogue.

When it happens well, the musical conversation flows and then ebbs away like all things.


I can't help but try and get the most metaphors for my money out of the same source and so, on reflection, a weekend trip like this has a resonance with the pattern of one's lifetime.

We're only here for a short time.
We can't do everything.
What do you wanna do??

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