I’m sitting here listening to a lot of music tonight, walking around in the agony and the heart ache of some songs and seeking solace and strength in others. Why, would you ask, are you listening to music that hurts? That reminds you of people and places now gone? Because those people and those places are never really gone and they should be remembered, but just occasionally. But it astonishes me that the heart break is still so fresh and raw.
My broken heart never really seems to heal and I’m sitting here listening to songs like “Who Knew?’ by Pink or “Not Meant to Be” by Theory of a Deadman or “Stay” by Safetysuit and wondering if anyone has ever hurt this much. Then “Til I collapse” or “Lose Yourself” by Eminem comes on my playlist (yes….it’s a very eclectic mix…..there’s no telling what the next song will be when it’s on shuffle) and I find strength and think that maybe if someone else has survived this much heart break, I can too.
I listen to “F*kin Perfect” by Pink over and over, soaring through the violins and drum beat and holding onto her searing voice. Finding hope and time in her journey through the lyrics. Waiting for the crescendo of the song and absorbing the promise and strength because I really, really need it right now. “Not Ready to Make Nice” comes on after that and I wander through my own struggle in my mind as I listen to the lyrics. I know their journey, their reason for writing the song, and I think of how it connects to my life and who or what I’m not backing down from.
Then “Sex On Fire” comes on (Kings of Leon) and I hear freedom. I hear driving through Florida in the Spring with the sun roof open. Song after song, melody after melody, and I hear Michigan, Maine, Florida….and I miss every single place. I miss that year, that time, those people. I miss driving down those roads.
I wish I could be one of those people that just listens to music sometimes. That I could just hear something and like it or not like it without being emotionally entrenched in it. But then I think it really is an amazing gift to be able to see and feel memories. Even if it just rips my heart open some times. I skipped past “What You Give” by Tesla. Today, that’s just seven and a half minutes of friggin ow. Then…..”The Quest” by Bryn Christopher and I see the Grey’s montage from the season finale last year in my head and remember falling in love with the song right away.
Jason Aldean comes on and I’m at the concert last summer. Trace Adkins….and I’m at the county fair in Michigan watching him. It’s raining, but the show is awesome. “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert comes on and I see the houses I grew up in, wondering through them in my mind and trying to figure out which one built me. She sings “I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me might start healing” and tears sting my eyes and I take a deep breath. Somewhere inside of me is still a little girl that’s wondering how broken she is.
“Angel” by Sarah Mclauchlan comes on and I brace for the memory of Angie, but find a softer place than I expected and a little bit of hope. The playlist continues, moving on to “Love Remains the Same” (Maine in the Spring….god, Brunswick is so beautiful)……further on to “Whatever” but Godsmack (greatest angry song… EVAR) , still further on “Uprising” by Muse (awesome music for in the Nitro), and finally “You Can Do It” by Ice Cube comes on and I decide that’s a good stopping point, and anyway my earphones are starting to hurt my ears.
I’ve traveled through five or six states and a couple of decades. Found music that brings me to my knees, but I also found strength that I couldn’t have found inside of me all on my own. “F*kin Perfect” is one of the greatest songs ever written, Listen to it when self doubt and the rest of the world are kicking your ass. The hope in the music was bigger than the part that would have brought me to my knees and I finished the playlist feeling just a little bit stronger. (Oh…that reminds me….gotta go download “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans).
I wish I could write music and wade my way through hurt and hope with a melody, but I guess I’ll just have to make do with writing about my journeys through music.