Sometimes this is exhausting.
Every morning, up before the sun. That star slumbers late into the ante meridiem and yet I’m awake with my music. Every morning.
Lately there was a feeling that the words were just too hard. In the fall, life here in the country changes and everything seems to take longer. The birds move slower before they nearly disappear and the bees disperse. Parts of my heart, those not absolutely essential to the necessary action of pumping blood through my veins, depart with the warmth. Those bits that exist solely to spur on my happiness through musical notes seem to flee. I do not blame them but I am acutely aware of their migration when the seasons change. Searching for music and then feeling it as hard as I seem to do in the summer months becomes a drain on my system and to conserve energy for my seeming winter hibernation, those actions get tossed by the wayside so that all my bodily energy can be directed at the simple act of just remembering to breath and getting through it. Winter hits me hard. When to that is added a schedule that blossoms in these next coming months and overblown personal tragedies, the act of just listening to music becomes tedious. This is the path I take every year — it is foot worn and no grass grows where I tramp every fall. The flowers along the edges dry up and go dormant. And with them sometimes, most of the time, goes my heart. Feeling is harder when it’s cold.
Until one day, miraculously and with flimsy explanation, it’s not anymore. Today is that day. There is no doubt that what is written here about music is autobiographical in word and deed, most certainly more so than other music blogs. And as it’s gotten colder here, as I’ve moved inward and into a place in which I’m evaluating myself and why it is I do some of the things I do, I’ve dived into old songs that once were bypassed because they seemed to lack a ledge onto which I could attach personal meaning. Like all things, music and love and life are dance steps and as Max Holmquist of Great American Desert will tell you below, you can forget those, even when they’re as simple as left and right, right and left…
As it’s core, music renews and while I know that deep in my soul I often forget of the bond it can create between two separate essentia. It is the most beautiful of connections and it is one that saves, apparently. I might get bogged down with promo emails and that might be all I shall see; I might miss the human toil in all those words. After months of early mornings, I become blinded to what it is that music can do. I might forget that across state lines it can build friendships because you can trust that someone who feels just as expanded when Clem Snide’s “Your Favorite Music” sets in will get you. It’s a safe bet they will get me, at least.
Music is a lesson. It’s a course in shutting up and learning that not everything needs to be articulated. When words are your favorite and you were born with a long-winded slant, a lyric sheet consisting of just 50 words yet articulating exactly what your heart feels is nearly as grand a lesson as humankind learning the Earth was not flat. It is Columbus discovering America by accident. Even more relevant, it is the unknown man who was clearly guided by a God, when he realized skipping reconstitution made brandy instead of weak ass wine. I listen to music and I take it in but after months and months of doing just that for the sake of doing it, I’d forgotten how to really listen to it, it seems. I’ve remembered now, spurred on by conversations about it and days upon days of these same few songs in my ears.
Cameron Crowe still makes himself mixtapes every month, full of the songs that he’s been living by for those past 4 weeks. It is his personal journal, he says, full of words that are not his but that he had made his over the course of 30 or so days. My personal journal, lacking my own words for the month of August and September because I was absent from this blog, are the following songs. They are all old to me new and not something I had to search for and yet over the past two weeks they have built up my heart and swelled it. They were there all along and I ignored them. I was not listening.
Oddly enough, not a single one of them was something I discovered on my own unless you count the You Won’t jam that I had forgotten existed but clearly needed to be reminded of. These five jams came from friends, all of them living hundreds of miles from me. I’ve never met any of the people who gifted me these songs face to face but if they love these songs as I do, especially when they’re really listening to them, I imagine we are kindred spirits then.
Here’s to the music and the occasional hiatus. Here’s to learning how to hear and feel again. Oh, how I had missed it without even knowing…
She’s selling herself, one piece of her soul at a time…
Great American Desert :: Man Pt. I [mp3]
If I was a cute little kid, I would show you the painting I did for you…
You Won’t :: Who Knew [mp3]
Hello my old heart, it’s been so long since I’ve given you away…
The Oh Hello’s :: Hello My Old Heart [mp3]
If you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate…
The Head and The Heart :: Rivers and Roads [mp3]
Was my greatest thrill, when you just stood still, and let me hold your hand ’til I had my fill.
Bahamas :: Lost In The Light [mp3]