Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Memory in the Music

I don't know about you guys, but I have a soundtrack for my life. I almost always have music playing in my head, and spend most of my life out in public insulated in a bubble of music that blots out the rest of the world. I also tend towards falling in love with one or two artists at a time, where I will listen to same album or albums for months, then move on to someone new. But each of the bands or artists were on repeat for some part of my life. After I've moved on, the music keeps that place, that time, the people I was with, the feelings I had, it all stays with the music.

I have always been very connected to music. I know that everyone says that, and I feel like it's probably true for everyone. But as someone who doesn't easily express emotions, nothing makes me feel like music can. I sit stoically though tear jerker movies and books, but put on "Hurt" (I'm more partial to Johnny Cash's version, but anyone singing it will do), and I'm wiping away tears and pretending to be sniffling from a sudden and acute case of allergies. I use music to express the feelings I'm not comfortable expressing myself. I put on music that inspires specific emotions when I want to feel them, or when I want to remind myself of someone or something that has started to fade. However, these songs always inspire these emotions, weither I want them to or not, so when I hear them and I didn't intend to, it's like a punch to the stomach. A rush of pain, or anger, or loss can stop me in my tracks in the middle of a grocery store, or biking on a trail having carelessly left my ipod on shuffle.

I've been working on this. Working on letting go of the memories associated with those songs that hurt me. Reminding myself of the good things that happened while those songs were playing in the background. Trying to just let myself feel nothing as I listen to music I loved at one point. I've been mining my ipod for music that I'd long ago forgotten. They do make me think of the exs of the time, but for the first time, I've been able to just enjoy the music for what it is, instead of the emotions it evoked. So now I have a whole world of music to rediscover.... so if you don't mind me, I have some Flogging Molly, Tegan and Sara, and MGMT to listen to, so I'll sign off as always reminding you if you don't know, ask, and if you're unsatisfied, give direction.

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