When I see pretty pictures and words on my social media feeds, I tend to take them with a grain of salt. At first glance, some of them seem really deep and impactful, but then when I’m thinking about it while driving or running or trying to fall asleep I end up seeing a different side.
This one is a little different. For me, personally, it seems to really ring true and I’ve felt it a lot in the last couple of years. It started five or six years ago. That was a rough year, with multiple deaths of people very, very close to me, my divorce and my separation from the military. That was a low point for me (in hindsight, one of the lowest). All of a sudden I started hearing the words. All of a sudden there was meaning. For most of my life, I just listened to faster music, stuff that would wake me up and get me to work on time. There’s a joke that everyone comes back from combat zones listening to “angry white man music”. There was some truth to that for me, it wasn’t the only thing I listened to but I listened to more of it than I had before.
Music was funny. I could sing every word to a lot of country music, Johnny Cougar songs, Petty, etc. But did I ever “hear” them? Rarely. Probably “Fire and Rain” was the only song that kicked me in the feels in my younger years. Maybe “Drifting” by Harry Connick, Jr. and “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt. But “Fire and Rain” was because my Dad mentioned it, so I paid attention, “Something to Talk About” was because I had a close friend I crushed on and could identify.
But all of a sudden, all that pain and heart-ache and identity crisis? There were two or three songs that just spoke to me and shook me to my core. Then a couple years later? After therapy and the break-up? Wow. Every. Single. Song. seemed to have meaning to me.
Now? Things are going better. And I’m back to just hearing beats and tempos. Glossing over meaning again. Is that just human nature? Or just my nature? I suppose I should be Zen about this and say that it’s neither good or bad, it just is. Do I need to try and change it? Do I need to try and be deep all the time?