24 November 2009

Love and Magic and Music

I'm 23 years old. I won't always be this age but for right now I can't say I know too much. I wrote a short bit for a writing class today and realized through the subject matter that I knew much more when I was younger. How is this possible? I have regressed on many topics. I'm not too sure of anything anymore. I guess I'm at least in search of answers but I'm also wise enough to know I'm not going to find any and wise enough to know this has been said a billion or more times before, etc. It doesn't stop me from wondering though.

One thing I know for sure is that I'm incredibly inspired by music loved by people I love. Unfortunately my boyfriend doesn't quite like music so he's out of the mix but 50% of the music I love is because of others. I guess you could make the case that all music comes from someone else but I'm an outcast so believe me, most of the music I love is of my own doing. Of course my mother, ex-boyfriend, father, friends, cousin, aunt, and grandfather have been huge influences in my tastes. Men in general (usually the beautiful ones) inspire me a lot and I've found a great way to find new music is by listening closely to what these beautiful gentlemen listen to... I'm specifically alluding to a great discovery today of Sam Baker, a country artist that had fallen victim to a terrorist attack while in Peru that has influenced his music greatly and makes for some fascinating lyrics. Amazon.com suggests Steve Earle and my love Kris Kristofferson on Baker's page as similar artists and upon seeing this, I instantly knew I had found something rather special. While he reminds me a little too much of Conor Oberst, he is clearly older and more worldly, maybe the whining is behind him. I'm so hungry for inspiration oftentimes that I am able to immediately pick up on what is beautiful about something that someone suggests but this was a piece of cake. Even without Baker's extraordinary tale of survival, I would've loved his sound. It's eerie, peaceful, and slightly lonely - very sparse.

My attachment to music often shadows my attachment to people. On a personal note, I had a particularly difficult breakup several years ago that I've mentioned before but I'd like to discuss in further detail. I still speak of it, not because I'm not incredibly happy now but because as a very young person nothing had affected me on that level before. I had lost loved ones to death but never because they wanted to leave me. I did not know how to handle it as he had become an extension of myself, a part of my skin in many respects, and then he was gone. Immediately I felt isolated and never more alone but quickly I realized that I had never been so close to others. My experience - that so many if not all over a certain age have experienced - made me more human. The feedback I received from friends and strangers alike at that time was incredibly humbling. Everyone seemed to care about me so much and always immediately understood that where I was coming from was immensely real - maybe I had never been so real. It would be an understatement to say that I was heartbroken. I was destroyed beyond reason. It is truly is the most human experience I have ever had in my life as typically I'm able to be very strange about most things (you might have to know me to understand that). There is no way of being strange about a situation like that - we all feel the same thing. It is still very difficult for me to talk about. I am only reminded of it because of something that happened this week that made me test the boundaries of where I am right now.

I guess to relate this back to music, I have to refer to a previous post about The National. I thanked this man for allowing me to understand The National's lyrics in a way that I otherwise never would have. He is the same person who questioned my love for John Mayer by asking if I truly related to his lyrics. This has stuck with me for years. I've come to the conclusion at this point that relating to lyrics is not always the only way to relate to a musician but it had me thinking since the moment he asked it. He is also the same person who allowed me to play Coldplay's poignant song "Swallowed in the Sea" while I packed to go away from him forever without shedding a tear. He would sing to me when he was drunk, forced me to listen to Bright Eyes, accepted my love of Pharrell, loved me more because of my affection for Tom Petty, and could recognize Nine Inch Nails in the background of our phone conversations. He'd dance to country music in a dollar store, dance with me to Conway Twitty in the bar, and all the while be very cold somehow. Cold and warm. Hard and tender. Difficult to explain.

He is also the reason for my love of M. Ward.

Now I know some things transcend time and I do believe M. Ward is one because I love him so much and he will never leave me but I'm sure somewhere it's always in the back of my mind when I hear him. I don't want to give any of my other secrets away right now but there are some very, very special moments I keep close to my heart regarding music and this man. If my love of music is a long string, his string is intertwined with at least 15% of it - for now. I'm not sure how I'll look back on him when it comes down to it in the long run and I have no idea what he thinks of me. Sometimes in the back of my mind, I'm certain he thinks of my face when he hears John Mayer. Does he feel guilty? Does he feel happy? Does he feel anything? We didn't end on a bad note. On the contrary, we still had much love for one another but we were "meant" for other people. Even while this has been proven true, my 19 year old self is a little shocked inside.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: music is the only way I can feel all these things again. Sometimes I can feel them so strongly when a certain song is on that I will leave a store or zone out to the extreme so I don't have to be in the moment with it. Maybe if music didn't exist I would hate this person the way I maybe should but for better or worse, I'll hear The Cure and want to write an entry like this for the next two hours. Within three minutes my heart is broken and mended and empty and full all at once. It's magic. Love and music both.

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