Life is a mix tape.

Over the weekend I discovered a mix CD that an acquaintance made for me.  Thinking back in the history of my sometimes fleeting, sometimes lasting, and always significant connections, there have more often than not an exchange of  music in whatever new format.  Perhaps, that is the nature in which my life veered as first a passion and then into a career that makes people express themselves in the medium of sound.  The dualistic side of me also expresses sentiments in words to which books are given earlier and found much later – in transition – when needed.  On this mix was a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” by Letters To Cleo.  Truth be told, it’s a really great cover and I’m a complete and utter hater of covers, mostly.  But, this particular cover started playing as a day of Spring seeped into my Land Rover’s windows during a drive around Washington Square Park. One of those much-needed soul-lifting type of days injected with Vitamin D from the long-lust sunshine of Spring warding off Winter’s discontent.  The weather is just right, the sun kisses your cheeks, and the world wraps its arms around you, for just a moment, to let you know that everything is as it should be.

It was in the verse, “Now here I go again, I see, the crystal visions / I keep my visions to myself / It’s only me / Who wants to wrap around your dreams and… / Have you any dreams you’d like to sell? / Dreams of loneliness… / Like a heartbeat drives you mad… /
In the stillness of remembering / What you had / And what you lost,”  I found perspective.  That moment left an indelible imprint in my soul; the moment I could now put a name to this particular song, a face, an experience that would forever be conjured up in any future playing of the song.

There is nothing easy with the ending of a connection, really, and if it’s too easy to disconnect  then perhaps you should look around at the company you’re keeping.  The point is…you never can fully disconnect because you absorb them into you.  But, that won’t stop you from trying to abandon them (and perhaps you will).  After all, life is a mix tape.

Songs for the reason, season, and lifetime.

People come through my mind, like songs on shuffle, and the majority of the time I keep forwarding to the next one. But, then there’s that one moment when the song shuffles back through and you actually listen. Random? Intentional?

REASON:

I really never listened to this song before, but I really like it. Too bad I only have a digital copy and sold the physical copy back to the world. Like that quasi friend that wanted to dig deeper into your collection, but you were always too busy chasing hit songs to really connect with the archives. I guess I missed my chance back then to discover a really great song.

I used to act like I liked this song, but the truth is I never really got what other people heard in it. It was too loud to ignore, that is for sure, but there was always that dissonance that I cowered to. This need to be met that only that song could give me, but one I should have just skipped. I guess those people were really just noise and never should have made it into my life longer than the introduction.

The greatest discovery ever -I thought at the time – were the songs that struck an intense chord that I listened to over-and-over until I wore that record out. The whisper of the needle overpowered the music within the grooves, and then out of nowhere there was no more sound. I loved that record, and if I had to do a Top Ten List it would make it on there, no doubt. However, you can’t sit around listening to broken records so put it back in the sleeve, under the record player shelf, it served it purpose. I guess those people hold intensities in a humdrum life.

SEASON:

I was first introduced to Pete Yorn’s “musicforthemorningafter” in my first years in New York City. That album caused an uproar in creativity, a relaxation with self, a new skin, a closer existence. I can’t tell you how many pauses in life I’ve had that had me reach for that album, pop it into any musical output (albums like that you never want to forget so you get the vinyl, CD, and digital album. You might buy every single album by Pete Yorn that you don’t like just to pay homage to that one that changed your life), and reconnect. I’ll always pull that album out at various points in life even though it’s really only about that one particular time. I guess someone could bring you sunshine in the winter and snowflakes in the summer; a magical change of season.

LIFETIME:

There’s really too much music. It comes in waves, and I don’t necessarily like it all the time. A few songs seeps through, a few are force-fed, a few get me to sing, but I wonder if they all mean something to someone at some point?

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