Music brings my mind back to the past.
The ’80s Singer-Songwriter playlist plays on the stereo, and I realize that it was almost 40 years ago that I was starting college, and Springsteen playing “Hungry Heart” makes me remember that I was curious once, walking into local stores in Campustown and browsing for things I had no money for.
I was hungry for experience. By myself, usually, because I didn’t understand why I needed other people to go explore. I was an introvert even then, but I didn’t understand it. I didn’t seek out music, but it found me in the shops, in the computer lab, in pirated tapes from my friends. I followed my boyfriends to concerts — I remember listening to the Ramones in the most acoustically unsound building on the U of I campus, and Jethro Tull — where did I see Jethro Tull?
Later, when I gave up on boyfriends and made friends, we listened to local Irish and bluegrass music. A local music “pusher” turned me on to Gaelic pop and Handel’s Water Music. The radio still played on through, and I soaked it up like osmosis.
In a way, I hate reminiscing, because I want my focus to be on the present. I’m not done exploring yet, just because COVID keeps me cooped up. I do intense searches on the Internet for my writing, and for my latest hobby, sourdough bread baking, and for all the little fact-grabbing. I have not studied anyone’s psyche (the intense focus of a crush) lately, and I’m not sure I want another one of those at my age.
I hate the fact that I just used the phrase “at my age” — I want to be young again, but with the knowledge and the calm with which I meet life now. This is impossible and a waste of time to wish for. So I will let the music tear my heart out, and I will build a heart of calm in its place.