Friday, April 15, 2011

On finding Joy in Music

First things first, an update:

Yes, things got nasty. Yes, they were unpleasant. There was possibly spitting and gnashing of teeth. And I may or may not have:

1. Left an open can of tuna in the bathroom inside the heating vent (Heh...Em.)
2. Started screaming wildly in the middle of the night, claiming that I am having night terrors where R/L is chasing me around with a super-soaker filled with frigid shower water (Pah...Kirsti.)
3. Eaten a slice of R/L's homemade bread without asking(Ummm.....)

But here is the point-despite the rules, the mild insanity, and the over all oppressive nature of this woman, I have decided to stay in her house through the month.

I paid for it. I'm not going to spend more money and be driven out.

You may call this pride. Perhaps it is. But MORE than that, I'm just not that angry anymore. I was pretty upset for the whole day after the argument. But then I got over it. I would only make myself more and more miserable if I held onto that anger.

I still feel that she is irrational and, in some ways, childish. But she is a human being who has become set in her ways. She has a different standard of living. I can't really judge her for that. I can move on, content in knowing that there are very few people in the world (or at least in Mid-Coast Maine) who would be able to live by such a standard. I hope she has found the right person in this new tenant moving in on the 1st.

So, since I am no longer angry, and can simply live by her rules without that much fuss for the next two weeks I am going to stay. To be honest, I really don't have time to pack everything up and move out early. I thought I WOULD have time, but this month is turning out to be insanely busy.

So, wonderful family, I am OVERFLOWING with appreciation at all the support you have offered. I can't tell you how much it means to me. But I will stay. I will live here until the 30th. And it will be just fine.

Now to the point of the post.

Before the fateful argument, R/L and I were talking about what my plans were for the future. She said she noticed that I am fond of music and wondered if that was a profession I ever considered.

I thought about this, and as I remember my phases of "this is what I am going to be when I grow up!" I think there was a brief few month in High School where I thought it would be amazing to be a professional musician.

I have long since put that idea out of my head. Not because I think I don't have the talent. I believe that if I pushed myself and tried, I could have the talent necessary. But here is why I could never be a professional musician:

I find JOY in music.

I'm sure that many professional musicians ALSO find joy in music. Why else would they devote their lives to it? But in this statement you must also remember one important fact about me:

I am not competitive.

Unless I am playing a game that is centered around Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Disney films, I couldn't care less whether I win or lose. It's about the game and the fun I have with the people I am spending time with. I wouldn't say that there is NO competitive bone in my body. I think, like nearly all humans, I have a bone or two devoted to "winning". But they are small and minor. I'm sure I'd survive if I had them removed.

Because I find no joy in competition, I believe that I would find no joy in the competitive nature of being a professional musician. Indeed, I know that if I were forced to put my skills on display to be harshly judged and compared to the musicians around me, I would quickly come to despise my talents.

To perform music in professional circles, you have to eat, drink, and sleep music. You have to devote every second of every day working to be better than the next person.

This, I cannot do. BUT, there are still many ways for me to find that joy I seek. They joy of music.

I joined this community choir. We are going to sing today. There is a celebration in Augusta which honors the 150th anniversary of Maine entering the Civil War. The music is mostly simple. But it rings of patriotism.

I love to sing. I think my life lacked something last year, when the only chance I had to sing was in my car, to myself. There is something wonderful in singing in a large group. The blending voices, the POWER you can emit as you join together in song. The UNITY. The HARMONY. It's almost magical. And I love it. I've missed this.

Lately I have been dreaming of trying out for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's an unlikely dream (a lot of things would have to happen first). But just think how wonderful would it be to sing with one of the most spiritual choirs in the world? To touch people as I have been touched when I listen to them sing?

Well, if it ever happens, I will rejoice as one of the happiest women on earth.

In the meantime, I content myself to sing in this choir. They aren't perfect. But we all share a passion for music. We wouldn't come to rehearsal if we didn't. I can't wait for out spring concert.

Along with song, I have some talent in the form of instruments. I am slowly, but surely, teaching myself to play the guitar. It is a little tedious because, rather than teach myself cords, I am teaching myself from the bottom up. Starting with learning the scales and the keys. From there, I will have the foundation to learn the chords. It will take me a while, but I can't wait for the time when I can play proficiently.

I love the piano. I wish that I had a piano that I could play on regularly. Sometimes I ache for the days when I had TALENT in playing the piano. I want to increase those skills. I just have no opportunity to. Someday, I will. Just not now.

Lastly, I find joy in listening to music. I love driving in my car and singing along with my favorite tunes. These songs soothe the soul, calm the mind, and make me smile. They can even make me laugh and cry. My heart swells with music sometimes. I am eternally grateful for the talent given to me by a loving Father and for the encouragement I received from my parents to nurture this talent. I don't know what I would do without music in my life.

To end this post, I am going to give you a list. These are the songs that I find myself listening to over and over again and never getting tired of this month. Actually, for the past three months.

Think of this as the life soundtrack of Sarah Lambson. These are the songs I picture playing in the background of my life as I live it. I hope you enjoy. I am going to attach links to the songs when I can if you feel like listening to them. Most will not be music videos because I don't want you to be distracted form LISTENING to the songs by the images of a video.

1. A Little Opera Goes A Long Way-Sky Sailing: I picture this song playing as I drive. To work, from work, or just down the road with my hand out the window, playing with the wind. The sun setting at my back as I drive towards the ocean.

2. I Count The Ways-Bostich + Fussible: This song is for walking down the street. Maybe with a little strut. Definitely with a smile on my face. There is a breeze and the day is filled with possibilities.

3. Opera Singer-Cake: I dare you to listen to this song and not sing along with it. For me, this is for times when I am in my room, standing in the middle of the floor with an imaginary spotlight beaming on me as I sing along to an invisible audience.

4. Things Can Only Get Better-Howard Jones: Man, you gotta love this guys hair. This song is for a night time strut down the street. Or a dance party. I know I don't dance, but this is the soundtrack of my life and when I listen to this song I see myself dancing. AND strutting. Confident.

5. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road-Elton John: I have always liked this song, but it was not until I listened to it on the way to Maine that I fell in love with it (thanks to Beckie and the Mix CD she made me). It's about going back to simplicity. Turning away from the things we THINK make us happy and looking towards the things we know USED to bring us joy. This is either a driving away from home or driving BACK home kind of song.

6. Mr. Hurricane-Beast: This song is full of dissonance and gritty background noise. It's emphasized by a funky beat that has a retro feel to it. And then things fall together in the chorus with the gospel harmonies. With this song, I see myself singing it to all the things that get in my way and make my life hard. Kind of a "take that" song.

7. Now My Feet Wont Touch The Ground-Coldplay:To me, this song is about feeling desperate despair in life and being brought back up by those you love and finding hope. I see myself walking along a rocky ocean beach on a gray chilly day, looking up at the sky. I'm waiting for a ray of sunlight to peek through.

8. Block After Block-Matt & Kim: This song is another song for walking down the street. I remember listening to it as I walked from block to block on through the streets of western Manhattan near the river. It was a perfect setting and now when I hear this song, that is what I think of.

9. Sing Me To Sleep-Fran Healy: It's dark again, during this song. I can listen to it during the day, but it feels the most right at night. Driving. With a long stretch of road ahead of you, your destination not quite in sight.

10. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot-The Flaming Lips: This is a work song. The pink robot is my computer. I am Yoshimi. Every day I battle this robot and wish more than anything that I could spend my whole day outside.

11. Fireflies-Owl City: I'm in a field, like the one outside my trailer in Rhode Island. The air is warm, but not hot. There are crickets and frogs singing a chorus and filling the air are fireflies. Making every inch of the sky and the space around my sparkle.

12. Rollerblades-Eliza Dolittle: I wish I had rollerblades. Or a bike. Because I see myself riding my bike or rollerblading down a bright sunny street in the spring or summer while this song is playing. And I am happy.

13. Firecracker-Frazey Ford: This is a fall song, for some reason. I'm strolling down a rural dirt road with the blazing trees creating corridors of color around me. I breathe the air and feel the possibilities of life.

14. This Is Me-Girlyman: Ignore the video on this one. Just listen to this song. The amazing harmonies and poetic words. This is a driving song. A song where you are traveling along a highway that is a "lonely patch of blue and gray".

15. Beyond The Sea-Bobby Darin: Of course, as this song plays, I am standing on a SANDY beach in the sun, my hair blowing in a warm breeze, watching the seabirds flying. Sinking my feet into the wet sand as waves of cool ocean water wash up to my ankles.

16. Aisling Song-Christen Moody (From The Secret of Kells): If you haven't seen this movie, DO. It's animation is BEAUTIFUL. And I love this song. In this song, I imagine myself standing, in the moonlight, looking up at the stars on a perfectly clear night. Breathing in the ocean air and dreaming.

17. Yesterday Once More-The Carpenters: I don't need to tell you how this song makes me feel. Any song by The Carpenters makes me feel better. This is another song to belt out in the car.

18. Home-Foo Fighters: This song always makes me feel a little melancholy. Which is to be expected. I sit on my bed and flip through photos of family, friends, and Sadie. I am dressed in a hoodie, jeans, and wool socks, trying to keep the chill I feel at bay. And "all I want is to be home."

19. Into the West-Annie Lennox: This is a song I listen to as I drift off to sleep. But in my memory, the most meaningful listening of this song came as I was leaving New Hampshire-leaving all my new friends behind. Not knowing if I would ever see them again. And I did weep. Somehow I don't think that will happen as I leave Maine.

20. Paper Planes (DFA mix)-M.I.A.: I listen to this as I cruise through summer streets of sunshine, rocking out in my car. Wishing that my seat was leaned way back so my arm is extended to the steering wheel and I am rocking back and forth to the beat. Can't you imagine me doing that?

21. Hard Times-Eastmountainsouth: This is another song to be sung and heard at sunset. A time that heralds the ending of one day and the coming of night, which will bring a measure of peace. And then the hope of a new day which will dawn all the brighter with hope of bliss and happiness.

There you have it. A musical journey through the mind and emotions of me.

What songs would be in YOUR life soudtrack right now?

1 comment:

Julina said...

Finally listening to your music (I already told you that) and as I listen to Into The West, it still makes me think of the little guy in my first year as a school OT who was in the hospital as his body rejected his heart transplant while we were going to the Indiana Museum LOTR exhibit and who ultimately passed away before the end of Christmas break... you don't expect that working in a school...

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