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Must be the Music


"DJ Baby V" - Photo courtesy of MyCityPhotos

This is a big one.

I can’t possibly handle “Music” in one blog post. Not even a narrower topic, like how music shapes our lives, or how music nourishes the soul. Connects us. Defines us.

That is way beyond the scope of a few paragraphs, especially in my life.

But it has come to my attention that I need to address music in some way, specifically because of its lack in my life, as of late.

Music does all the things listed above, and then some. And music has been such a prevailing definitive character in my life, my story, that its absence has really been felt. Why is it absent? Lost of reasons, I guess. For one, we don’t have a great sound system. Aside from the speakers included in my MacBook and television, the only other means of listening to music, really, is a stereo kept out in the workshop. When my husband was actually home for more than five minutes at a time, it was appropriate to have it out there. These days, maybe not.

For someone (a whole family, really) who loves music so deeply, why haven’t I/we invested in a proper sound system? First, living in strata-run concrete structures downtown Vancouver meant there really wasn’t any point. You couldn’t turn the volume up, so why bother? Then, having a young child meant pretty much the same thing. Keep it quiet, if on at all. And if it’s on, it better be educational.

La la la la, la la la la, Elmo’s Worlllllllllddddddd…..

And no headphones, either. You can’t hear the “Mommy Mommy’s with the muffs on.

So you adjust to the silence, or the soft background hum, anyway, that occasionally accompanies a nap time session catching up on emails.

Until one day you are reminded, somehow, that something’s missing. Yesterday it was a phone call with my editor. We were discussing my book, which, incidentally, is about music. We were talking genres, artists, ideas about what to include, literature that handles the importance of music beautifully, etc. And when the conversation was over, the house seemed to echo with that absence.

Where the hell has my music gone?

Violet and I went outside to enjoy the sun. I tucked myself in the corner of the yard, with a chair to watch her lose herself in fantasy, and set up the speakers.


Life has a soundtrack. This is a topic for another post, as is the way music has brought me to incredible people in life (another reminder from that phone call). But yesterday, sitting in that sunshine, life was music. It was a moment inseparable from the rhythm of the notes that bounced out of the speakers. It was a pulse, a feeling, colored with memory that couldn’t exactly be defined. But it was felt. Just like the heat from that sun. Just as real, as ineffable, and as lovely.

Today I’m bringing back the music. Everything I can. Sublime. Tom Waits. Iron & Wine. Bad Religion. The Stones. Bob Marley. James Brown. Kaskade. Overlapping words, beats, melodies…memories. Music, like writing, is an escape. And after all, I deserve a break, right? We all do.

This one time, at band camp...

Phone Phobia