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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Songs May Be to Blame...

I was driving home yesterday - many, many hours in the car. And since I was the one doing all the driving, I got to pick the music. So I hit shuffle on my library and just sang the whole way.

I realized that since I have nearly perfect recall to songs that I haven’t heard in like thirty years this may have some relation to why I can’t remember people’s names. Or the titles of books I have read. Or authors. Or shit like that.

It seems that my brain has decided that I need to retain and have available for instant recall song lyrics to songs that I haven’t listened to in more than four decades. Why?

So as I drove and sang songs that have been absent from my life for most of my life, I thought about how interesting it was about what the mind keeps. Is this something that we have control over? Is this something that is preordained? Is this just happenstance? How is it that we retain the memories we do?

Music has always been important in my life. Not in a career or actual talent. No, I have long held the happy role of spectator, audience member. But music is something that has healed me and kept me stuck. As the song library filtered through yesterday, I realized that most of the most important songs in my life were about heartbreak and pain. Now did I pick these songs because of the heartbreak, the heartbreak dictating I find songs that supported the way that I felt or did my penchance for sad songs the harbinger of future painful romantic demise?

I do love a sad ballad. A song that is full of poignant loss and meaning. If it is sad, heartfelt and beautifully written, I am a sucker for sure. And I will perhaps never know if my soul just loves the sad, or if perhaps, I have had more than my share of sad. Either way, the music I love does reflect the internal state of my heart. The fact that my brain has latched onto every word, further indicates that music has meaning, that far surpasses names and dates and locations and who wrote what soothes something in me, provides me solace, comfort and understanding when perhaps I find it too difficult to find or reach in interpersonal relationships.

I am at a place in my life where I see my pain. I see my own history and all the broken, jagged places. And I still find that turning to music way safer than towards other people. In my experience, people just bring more heartbreak which means that I then have to find new music to soothe myself.

So the quest continues for me to find a human soul that provides safety, comfort and solace. I am not sure that it is findable. I remain hopeful and cautious. I can’t seem to give up but I can’t seem to really find what I am looking for either. So, for now, music will continue to be the place I turn for meaning, understanding and comfort in times uncertain, painful, yearning and forlorn. As it turns out, music gives me hope to stay in the game. To keep trying to find another soul to share this life with...the way I see it, music supports solitary comfort and partnered comfort. And if I do end up the rest of my days alone, my mind is filled with songs enough to bring me across the finish line, providing me access to a feeling that perhaps I cannot experience myself but can enjoy the singing of other’s joy, love and communion. And maybe that right there is why my head and heart hold the music so close to my own soul. I remain caught between the joy and fear, such is this life and the lot of all who dare to truly live. Music and song the supportive shoulder to cry upon or lean toward in times of hardship or pain, happiness or joy. Perhaps music fills in the gaps our lives create. Stitching together the fabric of our lives, one note, one lyric at a time.

When I put it that way, I am grateful to have the total song recall. Seems time and energy well spent.

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