31 August 2010


Preface: I have no beef with people who don't particularly care for music. I don't particularly care for sports, or spotless houses, or a lot of other things others really care for. In no way is this meant to make you feel like I think less of you because you aren't picky about the noises that go in your ears.

How is music so powerful? Why did the Lord give us this... this transporter? I love, love the flashes of memory from hearing a song that epitomized a previous season. Who doesn't love that automatic remembering of who you were and what you were about and how you felt? I know Proust examines that in Un amour de Swann, which is very well and good, and certainly thorough. I was listening to a remix of a song that includes two songs from the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds, which was the only cd I listened to for about two solid months in the Spring of 2005. And the last time I heard this remix, I got a flash of a particular intersection in the town I lived in, and having the windows down and being happy. I would never ever have remembered that moment of feeling free in an otherwise difficult time in my life without having heard that. Things like that. They're markers of times, whether they be significant moments, like the two songs I listened to over and over again the night I gave my life over to Jesus, or just a random memory of sitting in my truck, not wanting to go clean a stranger's house (my loneliest job to date).

I just love how we remember better through music. How we feel memories or even new emotions through music. How someone can craft a song, or even a couple of seconds of a song, and it speaks to us in our deepest emotional places. Or, it speaks to someone. I also love that. You may love a song - it may lift you up to bliss - and I may think it's annoying. I gave my mom a "happy mix cd" and she doesn't like it. She thinks most of the songs are kind of grating to the ears. But the songs, they make me so happy I can laugh, just from enjoying them so much and having them make me happy.

Is that weird? I think it's normal; I think a lot of people carry things inside them through music. I just have such a hard time remembering things; I can't really remember who I was 5 years ago because I really am a completely (almost) different person. And that Michelle was totally different from the Michelle of 2001. But I have the music I've listened to for the past decade, and I can use it to chart who I was and who I am, to look back fondly or sadly or angrily or with pity on past Michelles and try to be careful with myself now. Because, if that girl was in my life now, I'd love her and want to be careful with her, to strengthen and encourage and comfort her. So it only follows that I'll feel the same way about me now in the future.

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