It is ironic what can make your heart bleed, isn’t it? For some people it is things that bring happiness and joy, for others, it is that which devastates and brings agony. Most of us are a combination of these things, however. For me, it is music. Music is that which does both for me. I have songs for virtually every mood I am in and the mood that I want to be in. What the music is isn’t so important to this as knowing there is a medium that conveys, nearly perfectly, everything you feel in life. Not everything, no, but enough to call it a majority by a landslide.
The plurality of the available options is staggering, even from the most modern artists. The farther back in time one goes the more exponential the number of things that can be conveyed. Or, and this is a thing that I think is wonderful beyond words, two people can listen to the same song and have diametrically opposite feelings towards it. You can hear me laughing over your weeping and you can see my sobs even as your skin crawls in ecstasy.
Words, while directly describing the feelings from time to time, are not a necessary element. Anyone who has ever listened to Adagio for Strings as arranged by Samuel Barber and felt it the way a great many do knows precisely what this means. Or when you are listening to the bass of the 1812 Overture as the cannons fire over and over or even when you hear the synthesized bass drops of Dubstep. Words may make it easier for things to be understood, but when you feel a song in the center of your soul, you will feel it whether or not it has words or not, I promise.
When I listen to Cry Baby by Janis Joplin, even as I type it in fact, I start to tear up because, of all the demons my mother had in her life, and they were nearly infinite, that woman had a phenomenal taste in music and she passed it to her children. Being the hippie of the family, the folk and acid jazz from the sixties were my birthright and it is one of the few things I can thank my mother for without shaking my head in pain or rolling my eyes with sarcasm. Now while every song in the ten years that were the sixties is not known to me of course, enough are that I can close my eyes and remember the scant memories of childhood that are not contaminated with the foulness of everyday life they were dispersed in.
Couples have songs that they call their own. Whether it is in a laughing way or a way that makes you nearly see their love for one another, they are foundational characteristics of the relationship. My own are near and dear to me and I will not name them, it is one of the few things I keep very safe in a very clean room in the back of my mind that I go and sit in at least once a day with my eyes closed and allow myself to remember and feel everything and anything that was Naomi. I cannot do it all day or else I would be nearly catatonic, but when I need to find respite, even for a moment when the world has told me I am a failure for the hundredth time that day, I think of that room and I crawl to it and listen to these songs and smile with a purity I do not deserve.
I did not forget the anger. Music is a very good conductor of this often misunderstood emotion. It is not good to be violent at all times nor is it healthy to be angry at all times. However there are times when you can release that anger into the world, sometimes even by putting the headphones a little tighter, turning up the music a little louder and letting all of your emotions flow as the music takes away from you the foulness that you do not need and have never deserved.
So I ask you, all of you, during this time when we are all, hopefully, distanced from one another physically to tell me your songs that are the balm for your soul if you are comfortable sharing them. Or, if you are not, then simply listen to one of them when you can and find yourself in your own clean room in your mind and heart remembering that which deserves to be remembered the very most.