I agree with you to a point. But . . .
People do grow attached to inanimate objects, but it isn't the same as being able to open up and trust another person, and I think that was something that Rory needed. I believe, though, that in his younger days, perhaps around the days when he was with Taste or thereabouts, that he was in love with a woman. I've already expanded my theories on that, so I'll refrain from boring you with my opinions, but I think he was very wounded by love, real love, around the same time his first band imploded. I think he avoided getting too close to a woman again for years, put his career first, and then, when he was more mature, ready to look to settle, he was hit with that lull in his career combined with the stress of supporting his employees and family, and his deteriorating health problems, and he (IMO) seemed unable or unwilling to delegate some of the burdens of his business life to others. I think he had trust issues.
I think Rory was as emotionally attached to that old Strat, though, as much as anyone can be. He paid a hefty sum for it when he was still a child, and worked long and hard to pay for it. He had occasion to use his body to shelter it when he was in that showband and the crowd got violent and started destroying everything in the room. And when it was taken from him before the Isle of Wight appearance, he mourned its loss, and celebrated when he got it back. So I wouldn't dismiss out of hand his affection for it. I've seen later interviews with him, where he holds it in his arms as tenderly and with as much affection as one would hold a friend. But he knew what it was. It was what he did with it that made it magical.
I can understand a musician's drive to master a musical instrument. I understand, I think, how Rory felt about it.
Rory was a very creative, artistic man. From what I've read about him, and the interviews I've seen and heard, it's obvious he was extremely intelligent. I think, though, (and we're talking opinions here) that we humans are spiritual beings bound for a time to this physical world, for what reason I don't pretend to know, except I think we are here to learn or grow. During our time in this life we are bound to these physical bodies with their frailties and weaknesses, and that is the baggage we have to work with, and lessons to learn. Rory wasn't perfect, he was as human as anyone, as emotionally vulnerable as any other person, with the same physical and emotional needs and desires. But he was very focused on his music, his vocation. And I think he had trust issues. I think the last ten years of his life were spent trying to manage and control these stresses, fears that he didn't understand, he tried to self-medicate, he tried to find help, but didn't know where to look. I think the medications they kept piling on him made him feel confused, and worn down. As the pain and anxiety increased it was harder for him to cope.
I think that somewhere in this world there were women he could have opened up to, and I'm sure there was one he could have trusted and formed a lifelong bond with.
One of the reasons I used to go see Rory play was to watch him master his guitar- to meld with the music in a way like no one else. But there was more to it than that, I was plagued by severe depression in my teens and twenties, but when I saw Rory play, his pure joy, his infectious happiness cut through my depression like nothing else. I loved watching him play, feeling the happiness flow out of him and into the audience. I don't to this day know how he did it, but he was almost ecstatic when he played, and he radiated that out of his body from the minute he picked up his guitar. I could feel his emotions- and I think the rest of the audience did, too. That's why to this day we who saw him play remember him with such passion.
To see him in later years, his last ten years, emotionally beaten down and especially toward the end, in obvious pain, that is difficult to watch. His eyes and his smile are the same, and throughout his later performances that same joy still came through when the music was flowing through him, but the sadness and uncertainty that was there, well, it makes me wish there was some way to reach out to him.
I think there were women who would have been good for Rory, maybe could have shouldered some of the burden from him, lightened his load a little. I disagree with Suby, though (no offense, Suby), I don't think his love of his music and the love of a woman would have been mutually exclusive. The music lived in Rory (still does, he isn't really dead, he still lives- his spirit, his soul is still very much alive) and I think that anyone he would have formed a lifelong bond with would not have had a problem with Rory or his guitars, if that person truley loved him, they would of course love his music- including the instruments he used to make that music- because it was a very important part of him. And Rory wasn't a fool, as much as he was able to love his guitars, especially The Strat, he knew it was still an inanimate object, not something that could really talk to him when he needed reassurance, or comfort him when he was lonely, or touch him when he needed to feel someone's touch.
The Strat is very special. But it is because it was Rory's guitar,
and was with him his whole life. His hands, his blood and sweat shaped and formed that guitar. Without that it would be no more special than my daughter's red Strat, or any one of a thousand others sitting unused in music stores. But I think the love of a woman, one who would have forsaken all others and been there for him, would have helped him weather the rough times, and I think maybe he would still be here making music, in this world. And I think perhaps The Strat would have had a couple more decades of wear from Rory's sweet, strong hands, then when his time here was done, he would have handed it down to his children.
That's what I think-
PS- A show of hands here- How many of the people on this very forum would have been more than happy to try to be that person for Rory, if fate had allowed- Strat and all?