Posted on | April 5, 2009 | 109 Comments
I just got back from a fantastic overnight in Greenville, Ohio where I attended the Nourishing Downtown event put on by Heritage Ohio, for the Main Street Ohio programs. But this post isn’t about that, I’m still digesting and marinating a few bits before I write it up and this post is the log jam of words and feelings blocking the flow.
This post is about the ten delicious, albeit butt-numbing hours I spent in the car by myself swimming in the sounds of these two albums by Talk, Talk: Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock. I kept them on constant loop as I coasted my way past farms and fields and trucks and tractors.
I haven’t had the opportunity to immerse myself in music like this in such a long time. I used to do it once a month or so, for five years when I lived in NY and drove out to OH for visits. Sometimes Ty rode with me, but often he stayed with his dad and I spent the 7.5 hours each way in a beautiful cocoon of sound and sight and vision, listening to a single album over and over again.
A couple of years ago, Lisa B-K sent me a video of a Talk, Talk live performance of Give It Up. I think it was this one, but there are several on the tubez…
… I loved this band in high school, but you know, synth pop–it only went so far and I lost track. I had no idea they performed like this, but I can always trust Lisa to hook me up with the real deal. Watching Mark Hollis singing as if he’s pulling the words up out of the stage beneath his feet and sending them out into the crowd with every ounce of energy in his being, well…my goodness. There are other videos from this show on youtube and I’ve turned to them repeatedly, particularly on days when I’m feeling frozen and can’t get my priorities straight. It works every time. Really, I’m going to cling to my fear and insecurity? Really? Gotta Give It UP.
The day before my trip, an old friend from high school and I were chatting on facebook about music and I sent him the link to the above, then watched the video a dozen times in a row. I wanted to hear more, so searched around in iTunes and the reviews for these two albums sold me, so I loaded up the iPod. (it’s so weird that our world is so i-branded–more and more it’s all about Me).
Listening to these two albums on this trip got my blood flowing with an energy I’ve desperately needed to feel–and my mind tumbled the usual thoughts that feel like pointy rocks, round and round, smoothing the edges with the grains of sound.
My family is in a strange and unexpected place right now (like millions of other families) and the fear is a sucking sink hole of mud that’s pulling me towards its center at every moment. It was there as I drove, looping thoughts of worry about the immediate future, the far-off future and judging decisions made in the past. So it went, my tumbling thoughts, the swirling music with a thousand layers compressing my mind into a blankness until I was nothing but the ride, rolling over miles of pavement and aware of myself moving through the landscape.
This song is the one I replayed about 432 times because it takes me from my usual place of Maybe to this whole new land that’s made of Yes. I tried to upload the mp3, but the file was too big, and this is clearly a lip sync job…but ah well..the song is the point.
But here’s the thing: nothing’s changed. I initially thought I’d be able to wrap this post up with a neat little commentary on the power of music to transform a life, but it’s more complicated than that. You see, now I want to listen to this with my headphones around the clock in order to drown out the gawping howl of fear that’s always playing in the background. But that’s just a soundtrack change, and I’ve been trying to learn to think more positively for years.
I make my action plan and set priorities and do the bloody best I can. I try to change my own song, to act as if everything is perfectly fine and abundant and I am plugged into that abundance and everything I need flows to me–and what I need isn’t always what I want, and doesn’t always feel good, and that’s OK. So I tell myself in the few quiet spaces in between.
I try not to give voice to what seems like the facts because well, maybe they’re not facts and maybe it’s an illusion that we’re no longer just inching towards foreclosure and bankruptcy, but perhaps even taking great, long-legged strides. But I fail miserably in this effort. I find myself blurting out the story at the worst possible moments and then I’m in–my legs caught in the sucking, swirling vortex. I’m nauseous, head-achy, twitchy and vibrating so hard I’m levitating.
And that’s what’s so powerful about music. I plug into that and it pulls me back out of the sink hole. It’s an IV hookup to a positive flow, giving me a much-needed transfusion.
You know what? I’m going to go get my iPod and hop in the car and drive around the back roads of Oho until I feel right again. Thanks for riding along while I ramble.