How do I want to feel today? Just pick a tune.
Music changes my life every day. It makes my life better. It makes my life worse. It awakens my joy. It increases my happiness. It calms my glee. It kills my bliss. It expresses my rage. It deepens my grief. It eases my pain. Music can do so much.
Some songs are not compatible with my current mood, but by gentle orchestration, a medley of certain songs correctly arranged, I can bring my mood to accept the song.
Sometimes the song is inside me, going round and round in circles, bursting out occasionally to the amusement or annoyance of those around me.
Some songs I cannot bear to listen to. They express a painful emotion so accurately that they recreate it. I can recognize the beauty of these songs, but I’ll change the channel to avoid being flooded by the feelings.
Some songs have specific memories lodged in them:
Girls Just Want to Have Fun: I’m a teenager, with two of my best friends, being driven somewhere by one of their fathers. The song comes on, we crank up the radio and start singing. My friend’s father is laughing and singing along – just another one of the girls.
Somebody That I Used to Know: Late at night, in Barcelona, in the only open restaurant. I point the song out to my boyfriend, who ignores my comment since he’s in a bad mood, wants food, and is not happy with the place we’ve found. This song rang so true to me in that moment. Later I realized that it was true. I might as well have been the female voice in that song.
The nostalgia songs can radically change my mood. They are volatile chemicals that must be carefully dosed.
How do I want to feel today? Pick a memory, pick a mood.