Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Martyr is you and I

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
― Goethe

Familiar songs strung together into something new, courtesy of Katie.

Being back in the United States has definite perks.
Per Esempio:
[which, loosely translated from the Italian, is: "Lemme break that down for you"]
A Dairy Queen Blizzard. [Dairy. Queen. Blizzard. Oh, there is nothing on all seven of the continents that could possibly compare. Dairy Queen Blizzards taste like senior year and prom dresses and night skies filled with stars and night clouds and lakes during summer time.]

Summer Sunset [oh how I missed you, sunset, while you hid behind the Kolkata smog. Every rare sunset I found in Kolkata was met with the relief and hope that greeted the first postdiluvian rainbow].

And The Car Radio.
The Car Radio, friends.
The. Car. Radio.
Go to your car.
Turn on the radio.
And then just dwell in the beautiful fact of its inescapable existence.
There it is:
A little magic music-making device in your car.
It plays music in your car.
Plays music. In Car. What is this sorcery?
Whatever it is, it's pretty darn cool, that's what.

I know radio waves are a universal phenomenon, and of course, there is radio in India, but it is Indian Radio. Not the Car Radio.
Indian Radio is lovely and is filled with Bollywood hits, which are also equally lovely.
Most particularly, this one:

 This song was playing on the radio 90% of all times I listened to the radio.

But I'm talking about the Car Radio.
There are sometimes you curse the name of the stupid Car Radio, because it plays is the same repetitive, abrasive, or just-garden-variety-inane song on station after station, so you retreat to the blessed near-quiet of the classical music station, which is playing anything from Beethoven to Gershwin in essentially whisper-tones, but it's a very welcome escape from the new Kanye song [no offense, truly, Mr. Kanye, but you're no Chopin].
But then--then--sometimes the Car Radio will play the two songs you wanted to hear --right in a row--that's when you bless the name of Car Radio. Inevitably, there's a lull in the goodness, so you switch to the country station on a whim, but lo-and-behold, there's Barefoot Bluejean Nights playing.
And just as you switch back to the original station, you catch the jackpot of any round of radio roulette- Some Nights.
And then there's only one appropriate response, which is to turn up the volume to an unsustainably loud decibel, roll the window completely down, and start tossing your hair around to the music like you're Willow Smith.
It's really the only correct way to listen to Some Nights.

And then there are the new songs that are all over the radio, and are too new to have yet worn out their welcome.
Per esempio:

 Summer sunset+car radio+Dairy Queen Blizzard=pumpkin pie moment.

And as you coast down the road (practicing safe driving habits in the midst of the hair-tossing, of course), you are wrapped in a cozy cocoon of familiar sound.
There is nothing like a song on repeat.
Like any piece of truly masterful art, the more you love a song, the more you revisit, the more you will find in it to love with each revisiting.
Because with each new visit to the song, you carry with it all the memories of the last time you heard it.
Then, the music starts to hold in it all the memories you left with it; and each time you re-encounter the melodies and harmonies, you unlock floods of memories with each note, each rest holds a volume of your story, and each key change ushers you through the journeys a favorite song has seen you through.
The familiar only grows more familiar with time, and never old, but continually new.
Music gives voice to what what silence fails to express and words could never communicate.

And who hears music, feels his solitude
Peopled at once.
― Robert Browning, Balaustion's Adventure

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