May 1, 2012

triggering memories ...

A perfectly rainy day and a great playlist. These are the two things that have prompted the writing of this post.

I love waking up to a cloudy sky and street puddles gaining weight. As much as I loathe our well-distressed deck and its buckling, splintered planks, I enjoy being able to see the raindrops joining puddles that shouldn't be there. Savoring a second cup of coffee while I gaze out the deck slider, the trees and grass becoming more vibrantly green with every sip. The dampness and overcast sky bring along with them a feeling of laziness. A desire to be comfortable. It is during these lapses of lethargy that I reminisce of simpler times. I carefully choose a playlist that will showcase the feel of this enjoyable day.

I've always loved music. My mother taught me the chorus of many a classic Barry Manilow, Donna Summer and Air Supply hit when I was just a baby. Even the Nights are Better is one that is engraved in my memory forever. I'm sure I sang my own mixed up version but I didn't know any better nor did I care. My father contributed to my love of Motown and oddly, drug-induced tunes. A very young girl, I began making room in my heart for Smoky Robinson, The Commodores, The Four Tops, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and countless others. A music bug from day one you could say.

Mazzy Star has always been one of my favorites. While in high school I gave So Tonight That I Might See quite a wearing. I still have the CD though it's long since been transferred to my iPod. I listen to frequently. It transports me to my old teenage bedroom... accessorized in blue, candles lit, cigarette burning (yuck), and pen in hand -- painting my journal with my every thought. When I read those journals now it's as though a stranger wrote them... though at the same time I remember being that stranger.

I remember learning to drive in my father's Grand Prix during my Creedence Clearwater Revival phase. To this day I can't hear Have You Ever Seen the Rain without picturing me blowing through a stop sign or taking a right-turn far too quickly.

Harry Connick Jr. brings me back to Saturday mornings spent cleaning the living room with my mom. I had the pleasure of dusting while putting on an obnoxious show for my family. Lounge-singing my way from table to table. The duster, my microphone. My mother, in stitches.

Music is like a gateway, isn't it? Such a strong connection to the old days. Even the theme song from The Golden Girls is a trigger. Memories of lazy, Saturday nights when my mom and I would be in our pajamas after a night of "calooping." We frequented Paperama -- where I would usually be gifted a new journal or stationery -- Lechemere, Apex and various other stores that no longer exist. {The Saturday night line-up at the time was 227, Amen, The Golden Girls & Empty Nest. Remember that?}

I just love looking back. In contrast, I look forward to the songs of today someday sparking the wonderful memories I'm currently making with my daughter and husband. Remember friends, each day is a memory in progress. Make sure you're making the best of them.

What songs trigger strong memories for you?

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