Sunday, July 31, 2005

The music in our hearts

Yesterday I talked about "Shopping 101." So, today I'll talk "Music Appreciation." When it comes to music, either you have the love for it, or you don't. And, I have always loved music.

As a child, I took piano lessons and listened to music as I did my homework each night. I still remember the first "grown-up" 45 records that I bought as a "tween." (Yes, I know this dates me.) They were Jack & Diane (John Cougar Mellencamp), Abracadabra (Steve Miller Band) and Somebody's Baby (Jackson Brown).

Once things moved to the high-tech world of the audio cassette, I bought them like they were going out of style. I listed to music as I studied, vegged in my room, wrote poems and stories or in my journal, rode in the car or school bus, jogged or played basketball, practiced my baton twirling, etc. Actually, there was almost always some form of music on around me, now that I think about it. I was in band, and could play the piano (not well though), the flute, and the french horn.

When my future husband met me, he could not believe the number of cassette tapes I had and that I'd thoroughly listened to them all. Later, after we married, he'd marvel at the number of CDs I managed to "collect" over the years.

Many years ago, I made a great friend who shared my love of music. We were into the whole angst-ridden, hippie chick type of music and fell in love with the likes of Patty Griffin, Fiona Apple, Jewel, and others. I was living in Austin at the time, and that's where we discovered Abra Moore at SXSW and we instantly ran out to buy her CD. After I moved away, I'd come to visit and she'd light some candles and we'd listen, chatting about our lives and what was going on, and zoning out to the music at times. I'd pour over her collection of CDs that she smartly organized alphabetically. (Something we also share is anal retentive behavior! HA!)

One thing that I know though, and that is that music is a very personal thing. Everyone has their own style and own preferences and it is really hard to find someone who appreciates the same kind of music as you do for the same reasons. My Austin pal actually does, which is really neat.

Over the years, a lot has changed in both our lives. She has divorced, struck out on her own, bought a house, traveled the world and changed careers. I've done the more conventional things--having kids, leaving my career to stay home, traveled by way of family-friendly vacations, etc. But, we have remained in touch. At times, we don't talk as much as one or the other of us would like. Other times, it seems like we live only a few miles apart still. We are on totally different paths, but still have this sort of spiritual connection between us that is hard to explain. I don't analyze or try to figure it out, I am just thankful to have that with my friend and glad it hasn't gone away with time.

The day after my birthday, I went to my mailbox to find a small package waiting for me. I recognized her handwriting instantly and chuckled at how she'd scribbled a silly nickname for me on the envelope. I also knew instantly what it in the package. I opened it to find a new CD. On her note, she explained that when she'd heard the artist, she instantly thought of me and had to send it for my birthday. I walked back inside with a big smile on my face. It is nice to be remembered like that.

My son is following in my music loving footsteps already. At six, he already has a kids' guitar, a boombox he must listen to as he goes to sleep, a toy keyboard, a practice drum with real sticks, and a new CD/headphone set he got from his Aunt for his birthday. (He asked for an Ipod, but DUDE if I don't even have one, he's SURE not going to at age SIX!) I was initially annoyed with the headphones, because we don't talk as much in the car when he has them on. He insists on playing his own music in back, no matter what I am listening to in front. And, he completely zones me out. As a Mom, I worry about his hearing being damaged by listening too loud, as well.

The other day, I finally got the chance to put that gift CD from my friend in my car and listen to it as I did my errands. The words almost gave me chills because there were several songs that spoke to me and the issues I have in my life right now. The music was soulful and calming. I sat there, amazed at how beautiful it was and amazed that I had a friend who knew me SO well as to pick the perfect CD for me right now.

I looked in my rearview mirror at my son, who had on his headphones again. For once, I did ask him to keep them down low or worry about him zoning out to his music. I think I'll just let him do that from now on. And, maybe he'll be lucky enough to find a friend who shares that love with him the way I have too.


Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I LOVE ABRA MOORE. And I listen to Mindy Smith all the time. In fact, Mindy is on my CD rotation right now in my bedroom (quiet music for the house, rowdier stuff for the car). I knew we were on the same wavelength. I think I own about 500 CDs.
Have you listened to any Mazzy Star?

6:27 PM, July 31, 2005  
Blogger Lisabell said...

I'm so glad you like the CD! Every now and then one comes around that speaks directly to my soul, and Mindy does that. I'm happy she speaks to yours too - I had a feeling she would ;)

7:55 PM, July 31, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Cool, Lucinda! Then you can join mine and lisabell's "we dig cool chick music" club. HA!

I think I know Mazzy Star--she had a song, Fade Into You, right? But, I've never heard anything else by her. Any other recommendations anyone?

9:17 PM, July 31, 2005  

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