It’s March, that month that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. A crazy snowfall arrived here March 1, messy yet lovely. Now it’s gone but the brown grass outside my window features spotty clumps of a snow-like substance.
March is always a difficult month for me personally. It’s the month between Winter and Spring where the hobbies and activities of the cold months lose their lustre. It’s the month I find myself restless and lacking focus, looking around as though gazing through a tunnel, not sure what’s ahead or what I want or what I want to do.
Ever since I can remember, music has been a source of happiness, peace, joy and excitement for me. Music speaks to me. It calms my spirit, revs me up, motivates me, and even directs my energy. I select certain tunes and think of people when I hear a specific songs. As I sang on stage a time or two, “My heart will be blessed with the sound of music.”Well, my heart is blessed by music. But, during March, suddenly I find the music that typically calmed, brought happiness or inspired me doesn’t resonate as it once did.
In my younger days, I recall fondly making “mixed tapes.” Pardon me while I date myself, but there was something about selecting the music from one tape and transferring it with the push of a few crazy buttons to record on the second tape. I had several favorites. I played these tapes until they ran thin, or broke.
The mixed tape creation practice was methodical and fun for me. I would painstakingly select songs that I enjoyed — songs that I wanted to share with a friend or songs that held a special meaning or songs that offered a particular message — and gather a stack of tapes to help me create that one Mixed Tape. The first song to play was always key … and then the final song anchored the message. Because, for me, music has always held meaning and power. And creating a mixed tape was like writing a poem for someone I cared enough for to invest this crazy amount of time and effort.
The challenge with the Mixed Tape was timing … I mean, you had to get it right or the tape would cut off a song or end too abruptly. I recall starting over more than once to get that timing right.
The days of the Mixed Tape are long gone. Cars no long hold tape decks and if you can find a stereo system that has one — or a tape to tape “boom box” — you’d be hard pressed to actually find a tape to put inside. Oh, I have one — a blank tape. A friend of mine found one in his possession a few years ago. And I keep it in a special box … you know, the box that stores treasures only you truly understand.
Anyway, now we make “Playlists” and have iTunes and Spotify. Well, I have iTunes. My son uses Spotify. I follow him — that’s what we do nowadays and it’s not creepy or stalker-esque — to see what kind of music he listens to and to find new songs that speak to me or that I might enjoy as well. He makes lots of Playlists … playlists for Vacation driving or specific people, playlists for the month or to study by. So, the tradition of the Mixed Tape carries on to the next generation, just in an updated format.
Here I am in March, typing this blog, and listening to Spotify on my phone. I don’t have a membership. I purchase all my music through iTunes since the thought of renting music through Spotify and losing it should I end my membership or Spotify fade away into the darkness prevents me from making that transition, despite my son’s advocacy for that program. Anyway, I can listen free on my phone or computer. I just can’t control what I hear when I’m listening from my phone.
But that’s okay … that’s what I’m seeking. Something I haven’t heard. Something new to me. Something that speaks to me and makes my spirit soar or explore or leap up to dance. So when I selected Billy Joel’s “Fantasies & Delusions” album on Spotify, I find myself hearing random Billy Joel music I hadn’t heard before. And it delights me.
So, help delight my spirit … help me find new songs to entice, entertain, intrigue and lead me through March and on. Make me a Mixed Tape — or a playlist. Burn it to a CD. Or share it on Spotify. Oh, I have a few Mixed CDs, including a selection of 6 CDs my brother painstakingly created with all the music played during each season of Lost, a CD of Bathtub Tunes from my daughter to relax to and a CD gift from a friend that features music with songs that bring a smile to my face every time I play it. The power of Music and the message if offers is very personal and very profound.
Heck … make a copy for yourself too. Discover that transformative ability of music!
Abraham Lincoln once said: “My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”
Well, I’d take a suggestion there too! I’d love a new book to read and always treasure recommendations. Books have the ability to offer great adventures and transport the spirit as well.
But, for now, guide me to some new music to delight my heart and help my spirit dance, soar and explore. To offer wonder and tease my curious side.
Make me a Mixed Tape, a CD or a Playlist and share it with me. Or help me find songs from your own favorites, so I can create one of my own! It has power, music. Over the ages, people agree about that …
Poet Henry W. Longfellow wrote: “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
Hans Christian Andersen said: “Where words fail, music speaks.”
And Johnny Depp once stated: “Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.”
Well, I’m not going to argue with Cap’n Jack Sparrow. So, help me find a musical treasure to take me on a new adventure and make exciting discoveries …