Sunday, April 11, 2010

unexpected soul nourishment

Sometimes you find what you need at the most unexpected time in an unexpected place.  My last post talked about my struggle for finding something to feed my soul.  It is often true that the harder you try to find what you are looking for, the harder it IS to find.

On my way home from a fun trip to see my sister and family (with a great 2 day trip to Chicago thrown in) I was tired and dreading the return to reality.  My son had been crying about leaving his cousins (always a very painful thing to witness such raw, sad emotions) but had settled in for the five hour drive and was concentrating on his Nintendo game.  By the time we reached the half way point I was really dragging so decided to switch from my CD to the radio, expecting to find a mediocre station that would likely fade out as soon as a good song came on.  But instead I found an unexpected treasure:  a replay of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 countdown from this week in 1984.  For those of you old enough to remember this classic weekly replay of hits, you might remember the "hits from coast to coast" melody or the "long distance dedications."

 Immediately I was transported to a different era.  This week in 1984 I was a freshman in high school, struggling with advanced algebra, loving my other subjects, completely "IN LOVE" with my boyfriend who was a senior at a neighboring high school, shopping for a prom dress and getting ready for summer!  The music was so fun to listen to.  I was singing loudly (much to my son's dismay) and just laughing in between songs.  Alan Parson's Project, Queen (Lady Gaga), Tracey Ullman (They don't know), Thompson Twins, Kool and the Gang, Willie Nelson & Julio Ilglesias (To all the Girls I've Loved Before - which reminded me some songs should remain in the past!!!), Rick Springfield, Weird Al (Eat it), The Bangles, Journey.....mmmmmmm....good times.

What I realized as I was driving down the dark turnpike, was that MUSIC has always fed my soul.  I KNOW this, but I keep forgetting.  I was raised in a musical household with my mom a former college music major and band director.  We grew up watching Sound of Music and singing in church choir.  I was in choir and band throughout high school.  I loved listening to the radio, albums (my first was Billy Joel Glass Houses) then cassettes then CD's and now my iPod.  I remember hanging out with friends making mix tapes in college.  Music was always around me.

But, as with many things, I forget about music.  I turn on the TV to watch the news or some other thing to pass the time.  I hear SpongeBob SquarePants in the background when I am fixing dinner.  But what I realized on this car trip was how much music can affect my mood.  Music instantly transports my mind to another place where I do not worry or obsess or question.  There are a few songs or artists that I no longer listen to because they are too tied to a sad or painful time in my life, but most just bring a sense of joy or strength or empowerment or just plain fun.

So - in contrast to U2's well known song...maybe I HAVE found a little bit of what I'm looking for.


1 comment:

  1. Love it! And Oh, I remember those songs and Casey's long distance dedications - I remember formulating my own dedication in my head. TOOO fun! Funny, too cause I recently have tried to put more music in my life - listening to old cds when in the office. I agree, it's very nourishing for my soul too!

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