My theme song could be none other than “Why”, by Annie Lennox. It didn’t take me long to decide this, but my music catalogue (stored in the safest place possible – my brain – ha ha, a migraineur proclaiming that her brain could ever be considered a safe place to put anything?!?!) is vast. Music has more than just special meaning to me: it has been and is my safe place and one of the main reasons that I’m here… and sane.
I don’t remember when I first realized this, anymore than realizing the moment that I first learned to swallow, sleep or cry. I also don’t remember actually learning to read, either; I just put the thoughts and pictures together with the words, and read them to myself. It was the same with music.
When I was about 4 years old, I had a few favorite songs. Many of these songs came with little books and were either on 45’s or 33’s (anybody remember these???). Two of these books with records were “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer” and “Peter and the Wolf”. I don’t remember my favorite songs from the Rudolph record, but boy, oh, boy, do I ever remember the song from side two of my Peter and the Wolf 45; this side held the magic, and that magic was “Greensleeves”, which I later found to be called “What Child is This?”.
I sat, most days, mesmerized by this song; I played it over and over, like some toddler OCD patient (no one even knew what that was back then…) and never tired of it. I know what I found in that song then as much as I still do now: comfort, understanding, solace/silence and my place to escape -whenever I wanted or had to..
I use music to escape now, some days more than others.
Of course, my music tastes have grown, but I still love Greensleeves and others’ like it. I have no specific genre preference: I have been known to escape into all musical forms and styles. I love classical (especially violin & cello); rock – hard rock, soft rock and pop rock; country (no “Western”, please); old and new. I seem to identify with meaningful lyrics and prose, but the instruments, melody and feel make up the difference. I speak of these “historical facts” because music has brought me here. My brain contains all this music wrapped up in the good and the hopeful, but the “bad” resides there as well. My pain – emotional, physical and spiritual remembers the suffering and those feelings are spelled in words.
Here are the lyrics to what I consider to be one of my most important “theme songs”:
“How many times do I have to try to tell you
That I’m sorry for the things I’ve done
But When I start to try to tell you
That’s when you have to tell me,
‘Hey, this kind of trouble’s only just begun’
I tell myself too many times
‘Why don’t you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut’
That’s why it hurts so bad to hear the words
That keep on falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth… falling from your mouth
I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you’re thinking
And I’ve heard too many times
That you’d be better off
Why can’t you see this boat is sinking
Let’s go down to the water’s edge
And we can cast away those doubts
Some things are better left unsaid
But they still turn me inside out
Turning me inside out
This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that seldom spread
These are the tears
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?
Cause I don’t think you know how I feel
I don’t think you know what I feel
I don’t think you know what I feel
You don’t know what I feel…
Wondering “why” is the epitome of my existence – then and now. My curious mind questions at a never-ending pace: I wonder and worry about myself and those I care about; I wonder about the earth, the world and our environment; and I wonder about people: where do we really come from/how do the good & bad coexist/where are we going and why are we here. The more I delve into my own personal inquiries, the more questions I come back with. So, “Why”, is and has always been a personal-technical-mental quest for me.
My other “Whys” have more to do with emotion than any technical or direct inquiry ever could. I suppose it’s an extension of the experiences that were – in my earlier experiences – inflicted upon me: my heart asked, “why?” when my young mind was still unable to comprehend the question. It has never stopped asking.
The ‘other whys’ want to know about the pain, fear, dread and despair. The solutions were answered with music, and especially in Lennox’s song…
‘The path I’ll never tread; the dreams I’ll dream instead… the tears shed; the fear, the dread…’
The meaning, the ability to become resilient, and the hope for my own future have been found in words and song. Sometimes I’m not able to completely quiet the “whys”, but the music always smoothes out the roughness.
I do have many good moments… days, but I have within me a huge feeling of misunderstanding, fear, and dread, too. I think it’s a part of being chronically sick as well as chronically sad – it’s as simple as that. I believe my blog will be positive, uplifting, and hopeful; I also believe that it must be tangible, heartfelt, inspirational and REAL. There is no more simple a way to help others or myself.