Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Moment Between Lady Gaga and Usher

I'm driving down the road, wind blowing in my hair, enjoying this day, this life, this moment, when all of a sudden a few notes introduce a new song and today slips from around me. Within ten seconds, and a "Could you whisper in my ear..." I am fourteen in a tent in a pitch dark forest. Next to me my best friend Allison is curled up in her sleeping bag with just bought Wal-Mart sweats protecting her from the unexpected cold. We all thought that Orlando would be hot during spring break; sure showed us. I know there is silence around me as the wildlife begins its slumber, but what little noise there is I can't hear through the rhythm in my ears coming from my discman. With this song, these words, I am pouring my heart out to my first love on Hello Kitty stationary as blue as the sky. I tell him I miss him, how I love him, how I wish he were there. I fill one page, two pages, three. I gush and want and need. And I do; I feel all of these things in my fourteen year old heart and my reminiscing mind. "...Oh, May, do you wanna get married and run away?" I do, I do, I do. "I wanna wake up where you are, I won't say anything at all..." Our lives are planned; our love is fixed. My heart and mind know nothing else but him and our future and what we have. How could that change? How could something so entrenched in our beings disappear?

Because of this thing called Life. Because as real as everything is at fourteen, we don't see that changes come at us like bullets from all angles. They are big and small and creep in from every corner. And we can't fight them because we aren't prepared. We don't know how to protect ourselves and our most coveted treasures: our love, our relationships, our feelings. We just live it and take it and make it through better and stronger. We come out equipped and ready to face the upcoming storms. But life isn't the same, and most of our treasures are gone. Those that make it through are more deeply entrenched, yet we are stripped of so much. So we rebuild, and we renew, and we use our lessons to cherish and protect the new blessed things thoroughly. And one day we look back at what we had, the innocence and the experiences and the love, and can't believe we were ever there.

Our new lives are wonderful and lived with even more vigor since we know they are precious. But how can we not long for what was, what shaped us, what brought us here? For those times that slipped by without us even realizing they were special? For times that were mundane and every day and "normal"? In life all you take are memories, and all too often they are these trivial ones that you can't shake. They recede to the deep, dark corners of your mind and leap out at you when you least expect them. They take you, body and soul, to a place so real, so good, and so missed that they leave you wanting to buy a return flight to a nonexistent destination. They're done; they're over. But luckily your mind saw the beauty occurring long ago and buried them in songs.  And for those few minutes you can close your eyes and be enveloped again.

So keep listening and keep living. It's comforting to know that your mind looks out for you and holds what you can't consciously. Who knows what we will remember ten years from now, what tent a song will carry us to. What can be assured is these memories will be bittersweet. They will be part of you. And like my song today told me, they will be "little pieces of nothing that fall." Take those moments to breathe them in, and then get back to living your glorious life so down the road you'll still have today.


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