Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Music of My Life

Tommy, dear Tommy sent a challenge something like months ago.  Being the way that I am and not wanting to disappoint, I delayed and pondered and as usual did not much of anything.  Not much of anything that could be seen in any event.  Oh, the challenge?  Music of your life.  A splendid revealing idea!  But then in the splendid and revealing department, our Tommy has it down.  His work (when I read it) is a carefully crafted word image, dancing and twisting and all about his world.  Yet somehow, his entries act as both a mirror and a crucible for me, the reader.  Splendid, wonderful, terrifying and sometimes I have to try reading upside down to check that I have got it just right.


Where was I? Oh!  The much belated challenge!


The Music of Your Life:


I started out by creating a list of all the music that I pretend is a sound track for my life.  It was ok, heavy on the Elton John but workable. A voice whispered in the back of my mind, [an annoying voice, I have to say, the one that is all reality and mostly not much fun, but the one that keeps me from dancing too close to the ledges most of the time]. The voice intervened. "Is that REALLY the music of your life?" The voice asked.


No, the music of my life is not some fantasy motivational sound track of convenience, the music of my life is not composed of songs of choice.  The music of my life is a collection of songs that bonded to a moment, to visuals and feelings and became one and marked forever in my memory.  They don't make particular sense to me, mostly they chose me rather than t'other way round, in that they are always fresh and immediate and  bidden when they visit, and alway, true.  So, Tommy, and dear friends, I present the Music of My Life ...


Winchester Cathedral –  The New Vaudeville Band -- Odd and inauspicious.  I remember playing from a collection of records of my father's records, the cover was aqua, the sound system was B&O and the turntable had a laser that bounced off of a se edge and became a steady line when the table was up to speed and the Winchester Cathedral became the song that reflects silver light in a gold room (our living room at the time) a cloudy day, perfect gold curtains -- real curtains with lining and gold cord with tassels to hold them back falling in perfect folds that the maker fussed with when he installed them and was justifiably proud of. Winchester Cathedral, glancing silver light in a gold room and the memory of a curtain maker that created window dressings that broke just so on the carpet of a living room. - Joy in Craftsmanship.



1974 - Love Grows – Edison Lighthouse -  the song was playing on a radio as I kneeled at top of back stairs in sunlight tracing the floral pattern on the upstairs carpet and thought of my Aunt Rosemary.  She was my father's sister and absolutely kind.  Good people right down to the ground.  Flowers woven in lasting wool and Aunt Rosemary.  Kindness and lasting warmth.


1975 - Band on the run (Paul McCartney)  - odd memory this one.   Rain outside and wallpaper in red and gold chrysanthemums, a medium green bedspread, green carpet.  and perfectly round green plastic transistor radio and "Band On the Run".  At the time I didn't like my mom's choice of wall paper or that song in particular, but the memory stuck. Time and recollection make the memory as study in contrasts and the peace that comes with balanced colors and tones.


1978 - Stairway to heaven (Led Zeplin) – At the high school I attended in the fall as part of homecoming there would be a bon fire.  I remember in my junior year, a boy named Dennis Farell sang back lit by fire.  Leaning over an acoustic guitar, he appeared to read the lyrics from a much folded piece of paper.  In remembrance, he was not somuch reading the lyrics as holding a talisman against ... failure..  He knew the words and notes and sang beautifully in that firelight in the bowl.


1979 - Bad Girls (Donna Summer) – car at the intersection of  12th avenue and ?? bottom of 4 hills - this one I still can't figure out.  Toot toot, beep, beep.



Mid 80’s  - BB King – (The Thrill Is Gone) Where I grew up there stands (or stood) a band shell by the Mississippi.  Every summer a series of artists perform and always, always the sound echoes over the river.  BB King. Joy.  One summer I stood near as the great man sang the blues.  That evening as the stars shone and the river rolled his voice rang out.  The blues were sung, but the voice poured joy into every note.  Even I understood, life has hardships but life set to music is pure joy.


Mid 80’s  - Mel Tome – (Dancing In The Dark) Same band shell, different concert. My Father and a concert by Mel.  Circles.  Blanket on the grass and summer warm and family and a musician with a voice powerful and warm and smooth as a summer breeze over the mighty river.  Comfort


There are a few that I want to add, but they are wants and therefore creations of the now me, not music of my life, music that chose moments and me, not the other way around.


Tommy dear, much belated, but above is the music of my life.


Thanks for asking!


Everybody else??  What is the music of your life? 


shadp said...

Wonderful memories, rich with feelings of the moment - beautifully written. Tommy certainly comes up with inspired ideas. I carried out his request some time ago. If I did it again now, the list would be very different probably!


tommytickla said...

Wow nice choice. Knew you had real style!

Funny isn't it how music reminds you of a particular time when you heard it. Ahh - the power of memory.....