December 24, 2003

Music's magic ability to transfer

Music's magic ability to transfer us to
places that we haven't been to in years is incredible. I love it that while I am
driving along, the Doobie Brothers can put me at the intersection of some tiny
bungalow lined street and Pennsylvania Avenue in the humidity of an Oklahoma
summer. I am no longer the 33 year old mother of four daughters, I am 8 years
old, looking out of the windows of my mother's Honda at the faces of the people
in the other cars, at the trees, the yellow sticks of grass. Pachabel's Cannon
reminds me of giving birth to E. Once while visiting my mother, we drove into
the city to Penn Square Mall (still called that?). A string quartet was set up
near the entrance by Pepperoni Grill. I noticed them as I walked by and smiled.
But when they began to play, I sent my mother and brother on ahead and stood
outside some department store privately recalling my firstborn's arrival. Steely
Dan's "Hey 19" pulls me into 1989. I had R on a line, reeling him in only to
throw him back again. I was frightened of how much I loved him. Where it was
going and how fast we were traveling there- to this unknown place. He had
convinced me to stay with him, I had allowed him to do so. I wanted to be with
him. He surprised me for my birthday and took me to the Katy Station restaurant.
We had the dinner for two and he presented me with a small neatly wrapped box. I
couldn't believe what he was giving me. I was completely surprised. I tore open
the paper and removed the lid to find a shiny, big....whistle. It was a whistle.
He pointed out the engraving on the side and asked me to tell him what it said.
I couldn't make it out. I was still trying to understand why he gave me a
whistle. The engraving was cryptic, I finally asked for him to help me out. It
had I=I, L=Love, Y= You, then my initials and his below. It was the first time
he said he loved me. What a way to tell me, huh? He had driven to Jeff City to a
Highway Patrol auction and won it, just for me. Later, at his house, he put on
the song and told me Happy Birthday. It was my 19th. A perfect song for us as he
was 6 years older and had so much life experience than I. We still like to pop
in that CD and reminisce. Anything by Howard Jones reminds me of hanging out in
my college dorm room with one of my best friend's and college roommate. We used
to stay up all night and sleep all morning, getting up only in time to grab the
last place in line for the cafeteria's Saturday morning brunch. With Chopin I am
always transported to a tragic time of my life. It spans a mere 15 years but
holds a monumental fold of events. I don't think that I have some place, a
metaphorical room, that I hid all of these things. I think I have a hallway: a
place that I must go through to get anywhere else in my house of thoughts. Not
that I see or notice all the items collected and placed there. The way simply
provides passage to other places and the things give connection and reminder of
where I have been, tokens of journeys I hope never to make again. The girls are
listening to Cirque Du Soleil's Journey of Man. It was generously sent to us by
a lovely British woman who worked for KRPS. We called one day to request
Vivaldi's Guitar Fugue in D minor. She was impressed that my girls knew such
specifics of a particular piece and asked how they knew it. I explained that we
have been listening to classical music their whole lives and I always tell them
the name of a piece that we are listening to, as well as the composer who wrote
it. She asked for our address and I told it to her. Two days later we received a
package in the mail with four CD's for the girls. The Journey of Man was one of
them. Peter Schickele's Bestiary was another. They fell in love with them. I
love to see them acting out the music. Their interpretations are creative,
moving, and seemingly accurate for the piece. Music is important in our lives.
It gives expression to that which we cannot use or find words to tell of. I love
the music of this season. All of the songs remind me of the purpose of Christ's
life, the warmth of family and tradition, and the wonder of an event occuring so
long ago that can cause so many people to stop and be kind and thoughtful and
generous all at once.

Posted by Rae at December 24, 2003 12:03 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?