Do you ever find yourself driving in the open countryside, as the sun’s rays warm your cheeks, belting out tunes as if you’re on Broadway and it’s opening night? Well,…I do! Keep in mind, I am not a fan of driving. In fact, I avoid the freeway like the plague. It’s not a relaxing experience. But, there is something special about driving “Vern”, my Mini Copper, while listening to my favorite tunes. It is during these times, that my soul is filled with energy and excitement. I feel invincible. Of course, there is that awkward moment, at a stoplight, when I come to the realization that I am not on stage and I slowly turn my head to see the gray-haired gentleman chuckling at my antics. I usually smile, add a slight wave, and continue on with my performance!
Music has been one of my dearest friends, for as long as I can remember. Our relationship probably began during those awkward middle school years. I recall sitting on my canopy bed, with the record and pause buttons pressed on my cassette player. I was ready…anxiously awaiting to tape the next Casey Kasem greatest hit, from the Saturday morning top 40 countdown. I would sit for hours, listening for Madonna’s “Material Girl” or “Hungry Like a Wolf”, by Duran Duran. Like most, these songs were familiar…comforting, during a time in my life that I felt uneasy in my own skin. To this day, a smile fills my face and an instant dance party occurs when I hear songs like,”We Built this City” by Starship or “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners. Music brings me joy.
When I stop and think about it, music was always in our home. My parents had a humongous stereo that filled up the entire wall of the living room. A velvet painting, depicting the Golden Gate Bridge, glowed of red, orange and yellow hues and hung above this unattractive, rectangular piece of furniture. It was this 70’s version of the “Boom Box”, that often echoed my Dad’s favorite jazz albums. Yet, at the time, the musical options of this oversized box were endless…a radio, a turntable and an eight track player. What more could one ask for?!
I vividly remember one specific eight track that lived in that large, 70’s DJ station…”The Gambler”, by Kenny Rogers. I don’t remember it being played when I was young, but somehow, when this acoustic tune comes on the radio, I find myself surprised and amused that I know it, word for word. How is it that retaining information for school or a career can be so challenging, yet lyrics from hundreds of songs, from so long ago, are actively stored in my head. To this very day, I find myself humming songs from the “Tony Orlando and Dawn” albums! How can this be? Make it stop!
For the most part, I am grateful for the music tucked away so beautifully in my head. I have journeyed through my adult years with artists like: The Indigo Girls, Sara Bettens, Brandi Carlile, Melissa Ferrick and Dar Williams, to name just a few. These artists tell my story…they are a constant in my life. Their melodies and messages are locked in my soul, saved for an eternity. Yet, in a split second, hearing only a few notes, these melodies are unlocked… flooding my heart and soul with memories of my lifetime.
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You