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Soundtrack of your life

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Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 2:46 pm

If someone found your ipod would they be able to tell anything about you?  Who you are?  What your experiences have been?  What kind of person you are?  Like it or not  those around us can make certain assumptions and we are oft times judged by our music.  Having said that, the jackass in the car next to me with the base turned up so loud that my windows are rattling and I can feel the beat in my chest wall, is just that...a jackass.  Admittedly, the boys and I listen to music in the car very loud; but you know what I mean.  And now that I'm done with that particular rant, I'll move on to the real point of this post.  Music as a soundtrack of your life.

Music evokes emotion, plain and simple.  If it can make us happy, it can certainly bring us down.  If it can set our toes to tapping then its not that far a stretch to imagine it could drive a young mind to the kind of madness that could result in harming a loved one.  Although some courts in this land would beg to differ.

Music can be a marker.  You know exactly what you were doing at a time when you heard the song.  The Beatles, In my Life, will forever hold a place in my heart and it has become my personal anthem of friendship.  It was an early fall morning and Jim and I and our small boys were leaving Susanville.  We were leaving jobs and a home and friends.  In particular, we were leaving the Hardaways.  Hugh & Lou had sons the same age as ours and for nearly 6 years we had lived a life that made our families irrevocably intertwined.  Hugh was the DJ at the local radio station.  As Jim and I pulled our cars into a station to get gas on the way out of town, Hugh came on the radio.  "My best friends are leaving today" and he played In My Life.  Jim finished gassing up both cars while I sat and cried.  I cried all the way to Reno with Nathaniel reaching over to pat my arm from his booster seat.  "Its okay Mommy", he repeated.  To this day when I hear that song, I'm in the Susanville Chevron station in 1989.  I pause and I listen and occationally tear up...just like now.

Music can bring back feelings from decades ago.  They are as fresh and exciting as the first time you tore the celophane off the LP.  I watched a PBS special this week, "When You're Strange:  A Film About The Doors.  In my youth I loved The Doors (I still do).  Their music was complex...unique.  There was also an undercurrent of something torchured and forbidden.  Jim Morrison was young, good-looking and very charismatic.  The music of The Doors sent me to a part of my brain that was edgy but focased.  I felt as if I were someone else while listing to The End, Riders On The Storm or LA Woman.  Someone infinately more hip.  Even now if I listen the Roadhouse Blues while driving the truck, I feel as though I am straddling a runaway train and it feels fantasticly unreal.  Add a stick of gum and you've got some real attitude working there.  Like many other talented young musicians of the day, Jim Morrison is gone.  Goodbye Mr. Mojo Risin.  You became a tragic waste of brilliant creatvity.

Point in time:  1981, driving the back roads in the TR6 with Jim heading to Yuba City so Jim can jam with some buddies and hearing "Every Little Thing She Does" by the Police.  Low lying fog and zipping along with someone I have just fallen in love with.  Magical.

In 1970 I was really sick.  Stay-home-from-school-because-Mom-said-so-sick.  I was laying on the sofa bed in the family room, watching TV and drifting in and out of a "thought I was going to die" sleep.  Some daytime variety show came on and Gordon Lightfoot sang "If You Could Read My Mind".  I thought I had dreamed it, but when I heard it again days later I remembered...and I fell in love with Gordon Lightfoot.

My ipod is a myriad of old and new and I think someone who found it would be very sometimes I am myself.

Do you have memories like this?  Please, please please share!