As all of you know, I love music and it's incredibly important to me. Well, one of my oldest Internet friends, Ashley, is here today writing about music and what it means to her. She is a wonderful writer, so definitely check out her blog.
My name is Ashley and I blog at Writing to Reach You. When I asked for opportunities to guest blog, Liz offered me some space here and asked me to write about music. Liz is one of my oldest internet friends, but I’m not sure she knew how big of a challenge this would be for me. I feel about music the way that some people feel about love: it means everything to me, but I have nothing to say about it.
I’m rarely short of (written) words or opinions, but music has this magical quality to me that I don’t understand. And quite unlike everything else in my life, I don’t really want to understand it. Music I will just listen to while I deconstruct the rest. I’m listening to it as I write this, and it feels like it’s moving from my ears down my neck to my shoulders through my arms and out my fingertips.
Since I don’t have anything to say about music, I’m going to write about my listening habits, which are quite unlike those of my music-loving friends. I listen to music all of the time. I have ear buds in most of my waking hours. But I don’t listen to a huge variety of music and it takes a lot for me to listen to new music. I’m not like my brother who reached a point at which he stopped listening to new music, because he thought nothing new compared to what had already been created, but I don’t absorb new music easily.
I’m kind of the same way with people. I don’t deal well with people coming in and out of my life. It takes a lot for me to let people in, but once you’re in, then I will listen to you for life. I’m a loyal friend and music fan. But I don’t do it on principle--that’s just the way I am. So I have to consciously push myself to meet new people and listen to new music.
To confuse this metaphor further, music is a thing I have always done on my own. In the early years of our friendship, my best friend and I used to obsess over *NSYNC together, but I had a more serious interest in music at the same time that I didn’t share with anyone. The relationship I have with music is intensely personal, which is not to say I won’t let anyone into that part of my life, but that it’s not a social thing for me. That’s part of what makes concerts so amazing; it’s not just the beauty of live music, but the contrast of having a personal experience with music while being surrounded by thousands of people who feel the same way.
I would like to pretend that I’ve never had such thoughts, but the way I listen to music has sometimes made me feel uncool. I don’t always know the latest music. In fact, I almost never do. Most of my favorite albums I discovered years after they were released. I don’t go out looking for new bands, so a lot of the music I like is semi-popular or was at some point. It’s such a relief to me now that it seems cool enough to just like whatever you do. So I have listened to every David Gray song as much as most people have listened to their favorite song, and the concert I am most looking forward to this year is Peter Gabriel, and I have loved James Taylor since I was 17.
Music seems to surround my life completely. It makes everything seem more alive. It animates my thoughts and romanticizes my feelings. It’s my constant companion.