I recently held an upper management retreat where I did a silly exercise of what five things each group would want with them if stranded on a remote island. If you had to experience Gilligan’s Island, what would you want besides ear buds so as to not have you listen to Gilligan’s drivel? Interestingly to me, in a weird moment if workplace self-reflection, I sided with the group of people that chose music over books.
I grew up loving books and music.
My mom would take out ten books for me from the library every one to two weeks. I read and read some more. She wrote poetry and I wrote a novel. I was a storytelling champion. But my mom also had me perform musical bits on Sundays. It was our Sunday Mania show. Think Wayne’s World but with a Hispanic mom and daughter in the South Bronx. I grew up loving music and appreciating the ability it afforded to escape reality. Television informed me. Books gave me an outlet for imagination. And music transported me. To me all three have contributed to my life’s trajectory.
Nowadays, lamentably, I do not get to read for fun as much as I used to. Scratch that. In a sign of the times, I don’t get to read for fun ever. Not even tabloid magazines. I’m constantly working on something. Even in the bath. Television, sure, I still watch lots. Not lately and not on a timely manner. I binge watch. I like binging. I think its a good television-viewing habit. I can’t be changed or argued with on that.
Now, music. Its always soothed my soul the way it did my mother. She would sing and sing and listen to music for hours on end. In her deepest sorrow and depths of despair, music enchanted her. There’s a song for every need and for every mood. When you are depressed, there’s an even sadder song in which you can externalize your sorrow. When you are feeling silly, there’s always an ’80s song playing on some channel.
I’ve been missing my music. The last month, I haven’t listened to my iPod. I’ve been unable to exercise and the treadmill is where I pumped up the music the loudest. I haven’t been walking to many places since I left my beloved New York City. And walking in new York while listening to music is just a divine experience. You feel like you are on life’s runway setting your own beat. I miss that. I miss my music. I miss dancing to my music. I miss skipping to my music. I miss catching someone else’s music stream. I hunger for a melody. Any melody. Even Taylor Swift who has been found to have songs with not much melodic range. Who am I to judge? She’s doing her thing. Her songs are loved by millions. I can certainly dance to them and do a little cheer if I didn’t have a torn knee muscle.
Music. Yes. I need music. I think my mom would also pick music. You can sing along, be contemplative, dance, do an accompanying skit, overlay your own lyrics, pump your fists in the air, cry, go to sleep…
I finally got to turn on the radio while in my bath and this is the first song I heard…sigh..