So you ever have that moment when a song comes on, and your brain is skipped like a stone back to the last place you heard that song? That shit happens to me all the time, and I love the transference every time it happens. Music is so damn powerful to me. In all aspects of my life. I briefly covered that in my last post: Emotionalism V3.0 when I talked about that Led Zeppelin video I watched that made me cry.
So, there I am, earlier today, just working along through my normal day. I have my personal library playing on shuffle instead of opting for Pandora like I normally do. The song “Stubborn Love” by the Lumineers comes on and my brain seizes up like the motor in a ’84 civic that hadn’t seen fresh oil since the Regan administration. It was just one of those moments that painted a picture in my head…
I’m sitting on the side of a mountain. The four wheeler I am riding is still ticking as it cools down after the last hour of hard riding. I was so struck by the beauty of the valley that lay below me, that despite the thunderheads rolling in from the North over my shoulder, I couldn’t help but just sit in awe…
Now to say that my emotional state at the time was “confused” would be akin to saying that honey badgers are “grumpy”. I was fighting with myself, with my heart, with my brain, with everything around me…Until I came to that valley. And in that valley I heard the words:
“When we were young, oh, oh, we did enough
When it got cold, ooh, ooh, we bundled up
I can’t be told, ah, ah, it can’t be done
It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
So pay attention now, I’m standing on your porch screaming out
And I won’t leave until you come downstairs
So keep your head up.
Keep your love”
A tear etched its way through the dust on my cheeks so intently that I could feel it sliding across the gritty surface of my skin like a little muddy snowball rolling out of control. A smile stretched the corners of my mouth so wide that is made me squint into the fading sunlight. For the first time in as long as I could remember I took a free breath and exhaled the anxieties and doubts that crowded my heart like douchey goth kids at a Hot Topic store in the mall. I felt like Honey Boo-Boo’s mother had been lifted off of my shoulders, and I loved it.
When I got home from the mountains I missed that freedom. All of the sudden I could identify with the people that were freaking out about the lack of Blue Bell ice cream, because I felt like that very freedom that I had found after all these years was being stripped away. Responsibilities, tragedies, mistakes, failures, and unforeseen circumstances crept back into my heart like a creepy Craigslister, and again I found myself short of breath.
Then today, I hear that song again, and although my brain seized up, my heart soared. I realized that the freedom that I’d felt had nothing to do with the valley, or the four-wheeler, or even the 4 beers I had with breakfast. That freedom is all around me. It’s in me every day. I can’t just wait to be 1000 miles away from reality and expect reality to just stay away. Reality is a relentless bitch, and she will be waiting for you when you get back.
So, today, as my heart soars, and I smile that same mountainous smile, I again have to give a nod of the head to the music that inspired that moment, and so many more to come.
I guess I should also give a tip of the hat to the 4 beers I had with breakfast, because that too, could be the key to all of this. Who knows? I am no psychologist.