after all, my plans they melt
into the sand
into the sand
band of horses | older
Have you ever noticed that music is strange and fantastic emotional time-travel? Have you ever listened to just three seconds of a song and instead of driving on the highway to a meeting you are tan, talking to your best friend late at night, alive and well? Though in reality approaching an exit in your frosty, rusty Corolla in a grey day, you instead smell warm night, tacos and fruity deodorant. Instead you hear glowing laughter, you are having lingering conversation, you are with very specific people on a very specific night. And the verse to the song hasn't even started yet! Am I the only one who has ever experienced this phenomenon?
Of course not.
That is why the world loves music. I don't mean why "artists" and "musicians" and the "intellectually understanding" love music. It's why all of us - even us who aren't trained in the art - love it. Music makes us feel. Music and smells take you back in time. Music and friends get you through current times. Music and dreams excite you for future times. What an enjoyable gift God gave us in music!
"Come into my arms, where a dreamer can meet the Lullaby Lady from Hushabye Street." Hushabye Street was playing on a cassette tape my entire baby and childhood. I never remember not knowing that song. When I hear it I'm laying on my back in my wooden, bead-cut, crib staring up to the dark ceiling. Through cracks in the door I could hear the muffled voices of my parents and the dishwasher starting up. I could see a haloed glow. And night after night sleep was victorious with me "till evening greets morning on Hushabye Street."
18 months after I was born, my brother Timothy entered my world. The closest friendship he and I ever had was when we were homeschooled in middle school together. Our "tradition" for lunch was to make a box of pasta with red sauce, eat half of it, throw the rest away, leave the dirty dishes out and then head to the basement for hand-stand contests. Yup. We were often in our parents pajamas, too. (I have no idea why...) We would spend up to hours on end before basketball practices in the underbelly of a home on Boxberry Terrace trying to walk on our hands. Tim always swore he walked 10 times when I went to the bathroom or wasn't looking. I always blamed him for distracting me - "I have better balance then you! You just distract me!" - (like I didn't distract him ;) haha). We got into a habit of taking our blue $14.99 boombox down with us, and we'd gymnast it up to Tim McGraw duets or Steven Curtis Chapman. One particular day I grabbed a hairbrush and dramatically belted Faith Hill's portion of "Like We Never Loved At All." I handed Tim a water bottle to join in. He didn't accept my offer. He just stared and shook his head "You are so weird." I sang the chorus alone. But by Tim McGraw's part in the second verse my own Tim had joined in with me. And we weirdly sang the rest of the song together. It was quite excellent and breathtaking and probably perfectly in tune ;)
Maybe that's just your way of dealing with the pain/ Forgetting everything between our rise and fall / Like we never loved at all
Tim, if you ever read this, I love you and miss those times. I've never forgotten them and would love to have more of them. Just promise you won't push me over if I get to nine hand-steps?
Jason Reeves came into my life a-la Colbie Caillat. His songs were songs I loved before I felt. I thought they were pretty and kind of edgy (give me a break. They WERE edgy compared to Selah and WOW Worship CD's). I played his album on repeat for months. Little did I know how I feel them. This song doesn't take me back to one place like the previous song did. This song takes me backs to a watercolor smear of years. The first piano notes "dun dun, DUN DUN, duuundun" make me feel 14 and 20, confused and clear, empty and full. And I have poetry and drawings of my life when you weren't on my side and I didn't know /
The person who introduced me to Band of Horses is now my "house-mate." If you've followed the blog a bit you know that I live with my friends-turned-family, Dre and Becca. You also might know that they just had their first child, little Behr. Dre is obsessed with Band of Horses. When this song plays I think about driving around in their blue SUV looking at townhouses. I think about priming the walls with Dre will Becca sat on a cushion on the floor, trying to keep her pregnant self moderately comfortable. I think about coming into a house with music already playing because other people live there - I don't live alone. I think about cleaning their kitchen, waiting for them to come home from the hospital with Behr for the first time, scrubbing to "Dilly" and "Older." I think about how "after all, my plans they melt into the sand."
I think about how so many friends have dreamed with Dre and Becca about this little nugget of life. I think about the Pinterest boards for his nursery, additions to his walls and shelfs from friends near and far, and watching that bump grow and lower as we imagined and talked about and analyzed what he might look like, what he might be like. I think about the way Behr's neck smells. I think about how he smiled right at me today. I think about how someday I'll be strolling along in a store and Band of Horses will pop on the radio and I'll jump into the emotional time machine... I'll be taken back to August 2011 - January 2012ish. I'll smile and love the memory.
If you find this post random at best, completely boring at worst, I do have a direction I'm going with it ;) No, these are not my favorite music recommendations for you. And if you listen to any of these songs you might think "Um. Okay?" I don't listen to these songs frequently at all. But when they appear, they stop me in my tracks. You have "those" songs too. Go find one of them today and listen to it and remember why that song affects your body. And then say "Oh, I see why Kristen posted those."
BUT. Someday on this blog I'd like to tell you folks a story. And I'd like to use songs in the story. In the next few weeks and months, as I plan on blogging more, if "random" music posts show-up, bear with me, and find some little thing to enjoy. And feel free to tell me about a song or two that takes you back in time. I'd truly love to hear. I'd love to know more about you. It would probably even make me feel less scared about letting you know more about me ;)