By Alicia Moore
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ― Maya Angelou
Music has changed the trajectory of my life; it has pulled me to shore, and pushed me out to sea. Music is my anchor, my life vest, my pockets full of rocks. Music is the only force in my life that has the ability to simultaneously take me to the brink of extinction, and hold me back from the edge.
I used to dance with my dad in the basement of our blue house in Michigan when I was little. He liked classic rock. I listen to Simon & Garfunkel when I miss him now, when I wish to migrate back to youth; the smell of his cigarettes in that damp basement, the sound of his voice, and “The Boxer” playing on the small radio that sat atop the dryer. Thirty years later that song would be the only light on a very dark night. https://youtu.be/l3LFML_pxlY
“Forty Six & 2” by Tool found me one night when I was alone in my room, I was fifteen. I could feel my heart beating to the thump of the bass, the thud of the drum, the slap of the words. I began to punch at the walls, and the heating vent. I thought I had lost myself, I was certain. Many people I knew had been murdered only a couple of days before. And as the flesh began to tear away from my knuckles I remember hearing, “See my shadow changing, stretching up and over me. Soften this old armor.” I collapsed onto the floor, and woke many hours later to tears stinging my battered hands. https://youtu.be/Tja6_h4lT6A
When I was seventeen, I met someone that taught me about the depth of love. I don’t think she meant to, but it seemed so natural in its progression. We would drive around in my car and listen to all kinds of music as we discussed life, love, religion, and purpose. Then one night we were up in the mountains somewhere, holding hands, looking at the stars, when “The Scientist” by Coldplay came on the radio. I can’t remember if I told her then, but that song became hers. To this day, when I hear it playing, no matter where I am, I’ll pause for a moment and smile. Sometimes I’ll call when I hear it just to see how she’s doing. I still love her so much, but that love has evolved over the years into something less intense and young. That depth will always be there though; the history of us, of a time when inhibitions were hard to find, and life was ahead of us. https://youtu.be/RB-RcX5DS5A
Over the past year I’ve been lucky enough to befriend someone who truly enjoys my thoughts, and musings on music. I deeply appreciate hers, too. I feel connected to myself again; re-inspired. It wasn’t until we went to a concert late last year that I felt the resurgence of something that had been dormant in me for many years. I felt a freedom to be open. I watched her listen to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac; her hands over her heart, eyes closed. It was in that moment that I could feel the expanse; the profundity of her. I could understand the gravity of the sensation, the intensity of what she was feeling. https://youtu.be/WM7-PYtXtJM
You see, music is a part of everything. It is the essence of our existence. It can be seen, heard, felt, and touched. We all have our own emotions wrapped deep within the lyrics, the sound, the taste of music. We all have our stories. Feel free to share some of yours in the comments below.