music, the time machine

slow-dancing-reza-sepahdarisilence. jumping piano chords. bongo drum rhythm. tambourine sizzle.
dance beat.
it was impossible not to stand up, motion to my partner and dance. instantly, we were ten years younger when we were lost in each other and the place we met-Colombia.
the steps were a little awkward, but eager. and then, we felt it inside- a sweetness wrapped in soft aching.

nostalgia happens.

when deliberate, it happens with an old friend having a glass of wine at the new trendy bar in the hometown you both grew up in. it comes with photographs stuck together in that shoe box you’ve lugged around for years and can’t part with. it’s watching old episodes of Cheers because it was the “late night” show you’d share with your dad on the sofa. it’s revisiting the very spot you said ” I do”, ordering the best burrito from that hole in the wall you went to as a college student, wearing the turquoise pendant your grandma bought for herself in a second hand store.

mindfully done, it’s like taking a trip. you plan for it. you enjoy it and when it’s over, you miss it.

but, nostalgia also can creep up on you. surprise you; catch you off guard. the most consistent agent? music. sure, your mom’s cooking can take you back and the sight of the hills you love can feel like home every time, but music, music is the time machine of time machines. a tune, set of lyrics, drum solo, rhythm can open memory’s door in gorgeous ways.

for me, it goes like this: one minute you’re on the 405 in traffic getting home from work, radio surfing, a Tuesday in March. the next you’re sent to the first apartment you lived independently in getting ready for a house party in Oakland on a cool October night. all thanks to Portishead’s Glory Box. 

recently, Craig blasted Gordon Lightfoot whose smooth, country sound is Canada in no other way. he encouraged the feeling: “picture a winter afternoon in Canada, the sun setting-that’s this music.” while I could not know what a Canadian boy in the 80s experienced at that time, I knew what he meant.

it is the most intangibly tangible thing : your setting, what you were wearing, what type of day it was…music takes you there.

What song transports you and where?

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