the music of our lives

I can’t believe I haven’t ever written this post. You know, the post about the music of our lives, those pieces of music that have defined us and led us to the places we are now. Do you have those?

Music has defined my life. I still get excited to get new music, to share it with others, to dance around my living room to the beats and rhythms of music I love.

Memories are like dreams now, hazy and starting to fade. But the connections to music are what keep them alive, keep me grounded in who I am and where I’ve been. I could list at least a hundred songs or groups in a minute to signify different times in my life, but there are certain moments and artists that are especially poignant for me.

When I was in high school in Las Vegas, I was on the speech and debate team. We were a fairly successful team and traveled quite a bit. I remember being at UCLA for a tournament. I had just completed my oratory (but don’t ask me what topic — I have no idea). I was getting ready for my extemporaneous competition. I remember the green grasses, the marble columns on the buildings, and I remember ivy. It was so green. And what music makes me remember? Prefab Sprout. That’s what I was listening to that day on my portable tape player. Prefab Sprout. (Which, as an aside, instigated my purchase of a Prefab Sprout CD in Tempe a few years ago when visiting Zia’s with my brother and his family.)

During my 20s, I was going through a particularly violent part of my life. I started moving around quite a bit, and I ended up in Boulder, Colorado, living in a motorhome behind my workplace (it was my boss’s motorhome — he rented it to me). I would sleep on that hard, thin little mattress, headphones on, listening to Tori Amos sing her songs on Little Earthquakes. I credit her music with getting me through an incredibly difficult time. It helped me want to get out of that period in my life. Funny how I credit music with that, but I listened to it every single night. I would cry myself to sleep listening to it, and dance around listening to it. It had a huge impact on my life.

This all brings me to tonight. I got the new Indigo Girls Poseidon and the Bitter Bug deluxe CD set today. It reminds of their older stuff — more acoustic, more like contemporary folk music. I can already tell (after a full 3 listens of the CDs) that it will be one of my favorites. It’s beautiful. I knew I loved it when I was driving home from getting some groceries and I started crying (sap that I am).

I’ve written this before, but I think it bears mentioning again. If you can get into the deep of it with me, if I’m crying or laughing or, preferably, both, then it’s a winner. I’m yours.

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