Well, this is awkward. I didn’t expect to meet you here, but apparently I left the car radio on. I don’t know quite what to say, unceremoniously abandoning you as I have. My actions, or more accurately my reactions, confuse me too.
You and I go way back. You’ve always been a consistent source of comfort and strength for me. You’ve been there for me when no-one else has before I even entered kindergarten.
I still remember how we met and when I fell in love with you. I got hooked on the incomparably awesome late sixties-early seventies pop music my mother listened to on Top 40 radio all day. I can still remember hearing the Grass Roots and Three Dog Night while the warm summer breeze made the kitchen curtains dance.
Around that same time, my dad introduced me to the fifties music of his youth — doo-wop, Buddy Holly, Elvis (every song had a story attached) and classic country music (lots and lots and lots of Hank Williams.)
Then, one glorious day, my father introduced me to the Beatles and I was forever lost in The Land of Fab.(“You’ll grow out of it,” Dad said. He died still waiting for me to grow out of it. I’m 54 now. Still haven’t grown out of it.)
For some people, music is nothing more than background noise. For others, it is an experience in and of itself, the main event, no other diversion wanted or needed.
I am among the latter. Well, I was anyway.
I know I’ve been avoiding you lately, Music. I’ve had no choice. Sometimes my heart is so bruised and battered and overburdened that any additional emotional stimuli is just piling on further upset. And it super sucks when what you must avoid to maintain your equilibrium is also your psychic lifeblood.
Here’s a simplistic explanation of my current problem. If I hear a song about new love, I’m consumed with grief because I will never experience that heady joy again. If I hear a song about enduring passion and devotion, I’m pissed I got cheated out of it. If I hear a song about hurt, pain, and betrayal, I want to throat punch my ex more than I already do.
Quite the quandary.
Now that I’m an adult, I relate to my father’s visceral attachment to his music. I completely get how listening to the soundtrack of his youth compelled him to recount and share the memories evoked by each song.
Every tune has its own story or memory embedded in it, indelible souvenirs of my journey through life. I’m transported in time and space from the opening chords to the bridge to the fade-out. It’s a magical and usually pleasant transformative experience.
But sometimes it just hurts too much to deliberately allow those feelings to surface. If I’m in a vulnerable place, it's like repeatedly ripping the scab off an infected wound. (Keep that song away from me! AHHHHH!)
OK, maybe not quite as gross but still pretty damn psychically painful.
Silence is just safer, at least until the wound is healed.
So, as you can see Music, it’s not you, it’s me. Right now my emotions are too raw and exposed to withstand your truth and beauty. This does not minimize you or your impact. Instead, it emphasizes what a profoundly powerful effect you have on my life.
I hope I’ll soon be in a better place and we can hang out again. I miss you, Music. But I know you will be right there waiting when I’m ready to reunite.
I just need a little more time to regroup and heal and listen to my intuition unencumbered by any outside influence, no matter how beloved.
I knew you’d understand.