Music has a way of brushing up beside me and captivating my very soul. Gregorian chant. Timeless, immortal music that forever embodies the harmony, dissonance, and melody that I enjoy. No instruments. Just voices of men sung to exalt a higher power that I can't bring myself to believe in. That doesn't stop me from enjoying the music, though.
Growing up, I spent weeknights listening to my favorite movie soundtracks. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Willow were some of my favorites. I would curl up with my favorite leather bound edition of the Hobbit as I was transported to other worlds, lives, and environs. The vibrant and busy soundtrack of Willow as he and Madmartigan escaped the two headed dragon would accompany the written pages as Bilbo first encountered Gollum and when he stood in front of Smaug, the red dragon, with the elvish sword, Sting, in hand.
In high school, I found girls and girlfriends - those mysterious creatures that often mystified men over the ages. Certain songs still elicit strong memories of pivotal moments in my early dating life. My and Leslie's song will play on the radio and immediately bring back memories of making out in my parent's minivan down that dead end street out Spring Road. We would only go so far before deciding to quit - never experiencing the ultimate release, orgasm. That was supposed to be saved for the consummate consecration of marriage.
When Joni Mitchell first came out with the album "Turbulent Indigo," I cried as I listened. The lyrics and music spoke to my heart. It was a Friday after working all day. I was tired and sunk into my lounge chair with a beer, downtrodden. The first few opening lines of Sunny Sunday and I was hooked. It made me forget about the tumultuous work week behind me as I got lost in the emotion and art of Joni's work.
I always think of Laurie, an old college girlfriend, when I hear the soundtrack to Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The tiny, little family owned theater in Montevallo, Alabama that is now razed and torn down in which we sat and watched that movie. We were so in love and thought we would spend our lives together. That night, my life felt like a movie, where all the conversation was muted and that soundtrack played over car speakers as we left for dinner with lifelong memories on the make. I would play it over and over, drunk, after we broke up - tears welling up when I thought of what could have been between us. Tale as old as time... it is the music of our lives.