Sometimes it is a smell that brings me back in time. Sometimes it is an article of clothing I find that jogs the memory. Most often it is music that immediately transports me back in time.
Last night I made a rock and roll playlist for my class. We were just starting to get warmed up and “Killer Queen” by Queen came on. I start dancing immediately, it happens without any thought at all. As my body is moving I begin to realize that I am back in time. I am no longer in Georgia, I am in California. I am hearing this song for the first time on my sister’s stereo. For those of you who follow my sister Jennifer’s blog, you know how much she loves time travel. I love time travel equally, it must be hereditary. I love going back in time, even if just in my mind.
This week I have time traveled quite a bit.
I was so tired yesterday. Can’t keep your eyes open tired. I was driving to run errands and ‘Mama Africa‘ by Peter Tosh came on my iPod. I was immediately thrown back 23 years earlier. I am 12 years old and spending the summer in California with our dear family friend who let me spend the summers with her. It was the best my mom could do to keep me happy after we left California and moved back to New Jersey. I remember us all going to the beach. The windows down in the VW beetle and Peter Tosh playing on the stereo. I remember the two little ones in the back seat. I even remember how blue the sky was that day. I remember thinking that life couldn’t get any better than this. I also knew right then that I was a lover of Reggae music even from a young age.
When I was in middle school I played field hockey, it’s a NorthEast thing. We used to love piling on the bus for away games. We all had our mix tapes and our Walkman’s.
You would play your jams and get pumped up. It was one of these mix tapes that had one of my favorite songs on it, ‘People Everday’ by Arrested Development. I don’t care who you are this song just makes you want to move. I mean get down. Funky bass lines and horns, I love it all. As this song played on my radio last week I time traveled twice, it was AMAZING. I was 13 years old jamming on the bus and then….it is February 2012. I am going through customs as I return home from my LIFE CHANGING MEXICO YOGA RETREAT. I couldn’t believe who was standing right in front of me, Speech, frontman for Arrested Development. Wearing a pair of overalls splattered with colorful paint. I was starstruck. I wanted to grab him and bust out my imaginary bass and start dancing. I couldn’t help but smile. Such a sad moment that my magical trip was over juxtaposed with the music in me bringing me back, way back.
I have had my fair share of sad and crappy times in my life. Through them all I can always find a song that makes me smile from that stage in my life. When you’re in the midst of a tough time in your life it is easy to see everything through rose-colored glasses.
IT ALL SUCKS, IT’S ALL CRAPPY, IT’S NEVER GOING TO GET BETTER, WHEN WILL I EVER SMILE AGAIN?
The music in you can help you remember all the good times that were happening along the sucky ones. All the good things that you blocked out of your memory. All the good things that couldn’t really be good because everything in that year, that month, or on that day was so bad that good never existed.
The music can bring you back. The music can seduce those good memories back up to the surface.
My take on all of this is simple. You must listen to music everyday. You must move your body and smile, maybe you want to cry, if it moves you than do it.
I am living what I speak. It’s 9am I am on the sofa. I have some really ugly big blue headphones on as I write this. I am playing as much old hip hop as I can find. Every jam is a different decade, a different friend, a different wild experience. My kids are laughing at me as I sing out loud. What a lovely way to start a Thursday.
Namaste and happy singing.
- Peter Tosh Interview, Los Angeles, 1983 (midnightraverblog.com)