Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sounds. Smells. Songs.

I don’t know if I’m ever able to shut my brain off. It’s always running. Rolodexing events and feelings and smells and ideas and things I have to do, and I hope they’re filed correctly so when it comes time to do the things, to tell the stories, to remember to pick up the drycleaning, that these post-its in my brain will surface and tell me what to do.

I fall asleep at night thinking about writing, what will I say next, who will listen, will anyone care? Why do I do this? Why can’t I just enjoy the here and now and live in the moment more often and not have a mind that won’t quit.

I went for a morning jalk or wog or jolk, or whatever you want to call a more-walk, half-jog thing to do with your legs. It’s the most beautiful day out. My shoes crunch over the gravel, I smile at a baby bunny, a squirrel, a bird. I sidestep a pile of animal poop with some sort of non-digested berries in it. It’s still too cool for the flies though.

Then I cross over to the place where my mind reels. It’s this one spot where every time I get to it, I stop exhaling and just inhale because the scent is just one that I want to ingest and have forever. It’s maybe baby’s breath, probably not though, mixed with some weeds, there’s nothing there to indicate a floral scent, yet every single time I walk by that spot, it’s there. It’s the kind of smell that if I could, I would grab a Yankee Candle representative and take them there.

“See, right here. Stop. Smell. Keep smelling! Can you make that into a candle?”

That’s what I want. Not cantaloupe or cotton linen or laundry detergent smells, although those are nice. I want that smell that can’t even be described it smells so luscious. It’s the kind of smell where, if I wasn’t afraid of bugs, non-digested animal poop, and itchy-scratchy things on the ground, I might lie down and make a snow angel right there, inhaling, and inhaling, and inhaling.

So, can you see my mind never stops, because this is not actually what my post was going to be. I wanted to write about music and the impact it has on all of us. How it can turn our mood from sad to happy, and from happy to sad. How it can rocketship us into another era, another time zone, just by the beat and the words and the person singing it. Hotwire, R Martini, and Drew at Drew's Muse (okay, not really Drew, but somebody was feeling a little left out!) recently wrote of songs that affected them. I’ve written about how Fleetwood Mac’s Gypsy makes me think of Diva, and how I love the line from Counting Crows about being feathered by the moonlight, walking along the hillside, with the summer ‘neath the sunshine… I’m listening to it right now. It just gets me. I don’t know why. A Murder of One.

Do you remember being in high school, or wherever you were at the time, and hearing Phil Collin’s In the Air Tonight, and pounding on the dashboard along with the drum solo? Do you remember hanging on friends your senior year in high school, buzzed and happy at an impromptu “my-parents-just-went-out-of-town” party, promising never to lose touch, while Stand By Me played loud on the boom box? Or old U2 like War—Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, A Sort of Homecoming? Violent Femmes where you’d scream at the top of your lungs, “Why can’t I get, just one more!?” Or kissing your first boyfriend upstairs at a party, in some unknown bedroom, messing up the comforter while Phil Collin’s Take Me Home played from the downstairs, where kids were pretending to be adults, drinking from stolen six-packs or bottles of whatever they could find that didn’t look like parents would miss from the liquor cabinet.

Don’t you wish sometimes you could rewind, go back to that moment, be with those people, feel the music? You can. Just close your eyes and listen to the music. That’s all you have to do, and you’ll be right back there, with those people who meant the most to you at that time, with the memories of what it was like, the fun you had, how a song could just turn your mood into something new?

Yep. Wow. I’m so thankful that I can have these memories, that I can have these smells, that I still have friends I’ve experienced these moments with, that I can call up my highschool friends, my college roommates and say, “Remember when we’d sit in the dorm room and blast The Outfield? Or remember when we were in that stinky basement, standing on top of the crooked coffee table, warm cups of crap keg beer in our hands, spilling on top of others but no one cared, and we’d be singing, Shook Me All Night Long, or 38 Special, Hold on Loosely?” I can call my friend Tamara anytime Groove is in the Heart is on, no matter if I’m at a bar, and it’s 1 a.m. I can just call her, shout into the phone, “Do you hear it!? It’s our song! LISTEN!” And then she’ll listen as I attempt to sing along with DeLite, at a bar, miles and miles away from her, yet she’s right there, listening to me singing it along with the DJ at the bar, and she knows, she knows that that’s something we share.

Or like when I listen to James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful and I think every time I hear the first line, “My life is Brilliant,” I really do think, yes, my life really is brilliant.

And man, isn’t that stuff just so, so cool? Music. Smells. Life.

24 comments:

TTQ said...

I make Ipod playlists by mood titles: Sad, happy, reflective, angst, kick some ass, getting some lovin! Music and smells always get to me too. I can't stand a certain perfume I use to wear because it reminds me of the piggest prick in the world I dated. I cook certain foods not because I want to eat but because I want to fill the house with a smell that reminds me of growing up.
And what about the lovely smell of books?
I'll never forget the smell of the candles that were lit the first time my husband and I made love..in fact I still have the jar, but it has melted down to nothing but the smell is still there, and that is all I need.

JD said...

Very weird - I just wrote a post with some of this music/memory stuff in it (will post it later tonight). Very weird that we had the same thoughts...

And Groove is in the Heart - OMG!!! None of my friends know this song. My husband doesn't know it. I blast it at home and request it at weddings and no one has a clue. LOVE.IT.

Manic Mom said...

TTQ--LOVE smelling, touching, looking at books, and reading them too!

JD--Groove is in the heart baby!

r martini said...

Nice blog...very nice.
I would go back in a heartbeat...if only I could return to what I have now...a great family.

I too hear songs and think what they mean to me and the memories, good and bad, they bring.

If only we knew then what we know now...we wouldn't have hurried to grow up.

Life is good...it's the greatest gift we've been given.

Ramblin Rose said...

It seems that there are a lot of us bloggers out there with the same thoughts at the moment, great Post!! :)

I wonder if when we are in our 80's will we be sitting on our porches remembering family life as we have it now, special songs like you mentioned, James blunt etc. And smells, such as our kids diaper smells, a special dinner etc.. Isn't it odd how most of the world is becoming nostalgic? I wonder if a higher being is trying to tell us all something?

RR

Drew Blackstone said...

I just don't get it. When I was in college, my friends and I spent hours and hours making mix tapes with the aim of wooing chicks. It never worked. Not once. They didn't even notice.

Now I find out that music sends you into untold levels of ecstasy. What's up with that?

I have come to the conclusion that all you want to do is confuse, befuddle, and otherwise make our lives miserable.

Well, you're doing a pretty good job.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

nice..i feel like u most days..

i use to read you a long time ago, then lost you..

i belive u are the one who sent me a pic of your will ferral hubby look alike..am i right?..do u remeber that?

take care;)

Hotwire said...

hey, great post - other than you kinda lost me with the delite reference (sorry!)... also, i'd like to see you write about a specific song-induced incident (hint hint)

Allison Winn Scotch said...

MM-I totally think the same thing every time I hear Blunt's opening line too. Eerie!

Rochelle said...

I love how memories are triggered by everything...smells, sounds, sight. Helps me to never forget the amazing moments in my life. Anytime I hear that Savage Garden "Truly, Madly, Deeply" it takes me back to being 14 and having my best friend sing it to me from outside me window before asking me if I wanted to be more than friends. That's what you made me think about today and therefore I loved this blog. <3

Manic Mom said...

Groove is in the Heart--I had to request it at the wedding we went to this weekend because I had been thinking about it; sure enough, I called my girlfriend to share the music with her!

R Martini--not one to fall off the face of the earth after you complete a challenge now are ya?

RR--I will NEVER miss the smell of a shitty diaper, but most certainly already miss those tiny squishy little baby bums! Did I ever tell ya the story about how I threw away a poopy diaper and it sat in the garage long enough to grow maggots!?!?!? No lie. Disgusting!

Drew said:I have come to the conclusion that all you want to do is confuse, befuddle, and otherwise make our lives miserable.

Well, you're doing a pretty good job.

Are you talking 'you' as in women in general, or me trying to make all mens lives miserable? hahaha.

Bossy--YES! That's my man, Will Ferrel... Ewwwwwwwwwww.

Hotwire--you totally have to go to itunes and queque up Groove Is In the Heart by DeLyte (might be spelled that way). You will totally be chair dancin'!

Allison--we have good lives, don't we? It makes me happy.

Rochelle--now that's romantic!

TTQ said...

Will Ferell with or without the perm? It is a perm right??? we almost went to see Talldega Nights, I think my honey had pity on me and was satisfied with just dinner out.

Manic Mom said...

NO PERM! NO WILL FERREL ANYTHING!!

He just knows The Perfect Cheer!

mama kay said...

ohhh. I love this post!
I love the smell of Old Spice; it reminds me of happy times w/my dad and the smell of a pipe .. oh it brings back my grandfather. I love to smell the nape of a baby's neck. No matter how hard I try, tequila sill makes me ill.
Music … Summer of 69, Don’t you want me baby, I don’t know much … but I know I love you … Now, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is beautiful to me. :o)

Jessica said...

Great post and an even better reminder.q

Rochelle said...

Stephen in the end of the book is Phillip, AKA The Suitor. She told everyone that at the reading so I figured I'd share with you. How cute and terribly romantic is that?

Manic Mom said...

Rochelle--that is so good to know! I kind of thought that, but why didn't she just call him Phillip in the book? Why make up a fake name? Oh well... thanks for shooting over here right away to tell me that! LOL, the internet is great!

MQ said...

iTunes has totally brought me back to music again. I made many a CD for my hubby when he was in Iraq...come to find out he deleted the hip hop stuff...how did a guy who loves Alice N Chains marry a woman who loves Alicia Keys? :)

Hotwire said...

i didn't mean i didn't know the song, you lost me becasue i, to put it lightly, don't particulary care for the song...

sorry.

TheHoneyMoonIsOver said...

You just gave me a reason to update my iPod. Degroovy!

Rochelle said...

She changed everyones name in the book. And as far as I know, the cemetery is true as well. I know the whole "Stephanie, we've been dating for months now" part is true b/c I remember her talking about it at some point.

Oh, and yes, the guy in the picture is my Russian. That was on the top of the Empire State building where he insisted on taking me on my birthday although I'd already been but he'd lived here in NY for 13 years and said he finally found someone he wanted to see the view with. It was cute but so cliche'.

Andie said...

I totally know what you are talking about!!! I have tons of songs, sounds etc. like that.

TTQ said...

Martini took my challenge, he is starting tomorrow!

Nancy said...

Elevator. Smells. Urine.