There was an unspoken understanding when you were with Buddy–it could be sitting on a porch and apparently nothing going on or it could be playing music or it could be anything else–but maybe it’s easiest to talk about when talking about music.
You didn’t have to be a great musician to play with Buddy. Technical skill was like a fancy instrument. It could be flashy, but if you didn’t know how to use it, what use was it? The flash could keep you from going somewhere real. It’s not that technical skill wasn’t important–it was–and if you didn’t acquire some proficiency, there was a commitment you weren’t making.
But there was something more important–a willingness to let go of yourself, to respond to what’s around you and what’s moving through you, to tap into the vulnerability that allows us to connect and can leave us feeling alone.
It’s like there was a question in the air, “Are you in?” And you had to make a decision. Even sitting on a porch, saying nothing, you had to make a decision.