Monday, February 3, 2014

The Music of my Soul

As most of you know, in Minnesota,this has been a winter. A WINTER. Not a winter where you can enjoy building a bonfire outside, snowshoeing ,cross country skiing or even sitting in a hot tub. Not even a winter where true Minnesotans say, " I love winter!" And certainly not for quasi- converts like me who have found that the previous activities make it slightly more bearable as we wait for spring and warm weather.

But in the days of isolation and the arctic temperatures that closed schools recently, I found a gift. Online music at my fingertips. My life had been silent for a long time. I don't know why, but I turned the music off about a year before Glenn's death. He commented on it, missing my exuberance as songs of my past played on speakers through Pandora. He used to point at my forehead and ask me if that's where I stored all the words.  I had no answer. I just needed quiet. I still have no reason for it.

In the months following Glenn's death, I spent a great deal of time with my children and their spouses. Music is very much a part of their waking hours ( unless grandsons need a dose of Ninja Turtles) and it started to feel good again. I started to listen. And I remember looking at the screen on Chris's computer wondering if he had bought all of those songs. No, he explained to me something called Spotify.  (Feel free to roll your eyes at my total ignorance at this point.) Chris and I spent many hours at night this summer and fall going through his playlists, drinking wine, talking about life  and dreams while listening. It was part of my healing and I loved it.

And so, recently I started playing music in the car again. I used to be an Olympian butt- dancer while driving. I might be doing that again. Maybe. :) I was reminded the other day as I was singing along how my kids would say when they were young, " I like this song Mom- who sings it?" When I'd answer they would reply, " Good...let's keep,it that way!" Memories. Smiles.

Which brings me to my reflection. For $4 a month, I can travel back in time. I can revel in the songs that defined my high school and college years, to music that sustained me during dark periods when I couldn't see the answer, to the music that defined my love and marriage to Glenn, such as " Because You Loved Me" which I insisted had to be played at his very somber and traditional funeral; to songs that will forever remind me of these days of "magical thinking",to quote Joan Didion, such as Goo-Goo Dolls, Adele, Train, Avincii and others. I can  play "Coldplay's " The Scientist" and be right back in the car driving Chris to high school, or Indigo Girls " Closer To Fine" and be back in Brookfield with Emily in junior high. Pop country stars Tim McGraw et al remind  me of driving back and forth almost everyday to Bemidji  in 2000-2002 to earn my education degree.  Louis Armstrong reminds me of my mother blasting his music on the stereo while she went about her work while I was growing up. Hmmmm....maybe there is a genetic thing here.

Tonight Tim  McGraw told me in his song tonight that I should "Live Like I Was Dying."

It's  what I'm doing Dude.

Hope he doesn't mind if I sing along , on the journey.