February 9th, 2009
Music — such lyrical salve. My cell nuclei thrums to beautiful, raw words set to pounding — or rolling — melody, and my white light positively beams at live shows, where I sit somewhere close to the amplifier, each piece of skin, bone, plasma, pulsing, exploding. I bear witness to a singer’s true face, soul laid molten, and I’m vinegar and butter, thinking I wish we all had to sing our stories. The world would be a better place, I’m telling you. Sing, and all pretense sheds. We’re connected. Never is it projected so clear as by the light of the music that binds us.
Headphones on, in the front row, watching from the sidelines: absorbing music’s honesty, its purity…in that listening moment, I am whole. Only that moment.
My music chronicles life. I hear songs from high school and I’m instantly back to moments when its cadence marched through buzzing car speakers, or blared through party radios. Not only that, I’m physically returned to the boys I loved, and the cupcakes I ate. I recall textures, patterns; the coarse feel of my blue and white uniform skirt, the shadow of a trellis shimmering on a patio, a train’s vibration rocketing past scorched hills. A plane dropping me, trembling and drunk, at the Arctic wooden foot of my mother’s death bed.
These songs marked my DNA along the way, pressed bold, sometimes painful imprints — and the memories they leave are tangled like driftwood in my brain stem. Dear God, how they wrap, bind, burn. And don’t they?
I want to know about your songs. What brings you back to a pivotal moment? Or an everyday moment you’ll remember forever? Tell me a drop of your life as crystallized by a Top 40 hit, a Broadway number, a dirge. Truly, I yearn to hear about your treasured vignettes as measured by harmony. What song transports your body, soul, mind? Where were you? Was there something playing in the background when you said goodbye? When he or she said goodbye? What harmony unfurled its misery/joy/bittersweet across your life’s landscape?
I hope that will be enough to lead you.
And so where did you go?
No rules today.
Now please write for me. “I want to go to there.”