2019.09.14How Important Music Is

Goes all the way to 11


Earlier today I took my daughter to a music store. I don't mean the record kind. I mean the instrument kind. We were there to buy some replacement drumsticks and to let kiddo drool over a special keyboard (read: and to let me do some scouting in advance of Christmas). While we were there, kiddo picked out a guitar cable for me -- and honestly, I've been awful about replacing my cables -- I've got cables in my kit that go back to the 1980s.

So it only made sense that we would spend part of the evening fooling around with our respective musical interests.

Speaking of my kit, much of it has been recovered over the past week, as we're making a dedicated effort to get the last of our boxed up items from the move unpacked and sorted (a criterion: "If we've lived without it for a year, so how important is it really?"). So I've been reunited with a few things -- cables, foot switches, music books, tuner (I'm sure the neighborhood is especially grateful for that particular find), and my old clickwheel iPod and a Bose speaker built specifically for iPods at a time when the iPhone 3G was a very hot item.

(By the way, Apple doesn't even sell any 30-in ANYTHINGS anymore, including 30-pin to lightning cables.)

This iPod is a national treasure as far as I'm concerned, because it has on it the only surviving copy of my Guitar Tunes playlist -- a playlist I made specifically for the purpose of learning some passable percentage of specific songs.

Tonight as I played through the list I allowed myself to become swallowed up by the memories tied to the music. Not all of the songs have such deep meanings, but some definitely do.

Through this music I mourn the loss of my grandmother.

Through this music I mourn the loss of my father.

Through this music I grieve my first wife and my inability to give her the happiness she looked for elsewhere.

Through this music I realize and I remember.

I remember things that have made me who I am today. Good and bad.

I forget everything about life in the present, and my fingers stretch and yearn to align me with the music I hear. That effort is the transporter -- when I do it well, I remember things like where I was when I first heard that song, or or where I was when I first started trying to play it. I remember the times I played to relieve my sadness, or played because I was happy. All of these memories are locked inside of these titles. But it's not enough to hear the song; I have to play along with it.

By the end of my sessions done well, my eyes are about as red as my fingertips. And maybe... maybe my soul is a little richer for it. All of these things I feel aren't part of my present in any perceptable way. But through this music I feel them all.

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