Monday, October 30, 2017

26. Music

My first memory of music being a part of my life is me as a four-year-old wearing my dad’s giant white and black earphones. They were giant ear muffs over my tiny head and ears. Spiro Gyra was playing. My dad was nearby helping me keep the earphones on my head.

Later, music accompanied my dad, sister, and I every weekend when we loaded our trash in the metal drums and drove them to the outskirts of town to the local dump. Roy Orbison was a favorite every time it came on the radio because my dad sang it with a funny falsetto. It made the three of us giggle every time.

Then there was Whitney Houston, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson.

Mariah Carey, Sting, Erasure, Sarah McLachlan, Coldplay, Avett Brothers, and Gregory Alan Isakov would come at different intervals of life and help define that each stage for me.

Words play such an important role in my life that they have appeared in various forms throughout this series. All of these artists’ lyrics have formed a scaffold by which I shore up my inner life. I have an eclectic taste in music—I have different music for different moods.

Struggling with depression and the “what next?” of life after graduation, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album was the only music I could stomach as early as October of my senior year. My poor roommate gauged my mood and outlook by what was playing when she approached our door.

I played the piano and viola as a young girl, but I didn’t practice, so those forms of musical expression didn’t stick. But they gave me a foundation for appreciating music and knowing what to listen to which remains with me to this day.

As I type I’m listening to the Avett Brothers’ The Carpenter album. The cello, banjo, and horns are such a soothing presence.
I nurture myself with music of all genres, and am so grateful for its restorative, contemplative powers.

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