Sunday, May 07, 2006

Theme Songs

When I turned on the radio on Saturday morning, the first thing that I heard was Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” I’ve already written previously that it’s been my theme song for this past year. I’ve always associated different periods of my life with different music. This past year has been a roller-coaster of sorts: I’ve tried to hang on to the illusions of life and love, and have tried to capture an organized innocence akin to Blake’s theory. We all move past innocence to experience; hopefully, I’ve been able to transcend pessimism and still choose to see the good in everything.

Some of my past “theme songs”:

Ani DiFranco’s “32 Flavours”: This was my song of early 2003, the months before I moved up to Inuvik. I was teaching in New Westminster, and more or less had the most stressful work of my life; I was up during the early hours of the morning, fretting about the classes I had to prepare for. In December of 2002, I had turned down an opportunity that I still think about today. I was living in a world of regret at the time, and I used the song as an anguished mantra of sorts, to remind myself that despite all appearances, I was a phoenix that could rise from the ashes.

Green Day’s “Good Riddance”: This was my song of 2000. This was the year I had settled into a deep contentment. My life was progressing as it should – I was in love, I was independent, and I was enjoying my daily engagements of school, work, and friends. I had saved enough money to take a trip to Western Europe, and took in the splendours of Paris, Florence, and Barcelona. To this day, I dream of returning to Paris, to the Musee D’Orsay. What I remember is not the impressionist masterpieces there, but the gentle light that filtered through those windows. The museum used to be an old train station, and the light made the most spectacular, spiritual shapes along the walls.

“The Water is Wide”: This song captured 1998, the year I graduated from high school. Specifically, it perfectly encapsulated that summer right before I went to university. It was a time of lounging around in overalls, of sunburns, of consolidating friendships, of faith that all of our dreams would be realized.

George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”: One of the most beautiful pieces of music ever, in my opinion. This is one that makes me cry. This is the piece that makes me feel free and find peace when I loathe any part of my life. When I listen to it, I can imagine myself drifting, floating above everything. Suddenly, all my troubles seem less traumatic. The enormity of the burdens previously on my shoulders transforms into an enormity of potential and possibility. This is music that should be painted.

Part of my quest for an organized innocence includes finding simple elegance in the everyday. Hence, here is a photo of the scroll of my violin which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also holds such potential to create beauty in the form of music. Perhaps one day soon, I’ll stumble across my next theme song in one of my crazed sessions of music-playing.

No comments:

Post a Comment