I love words.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
I feel things on an energetic level and sometimes words are not enough.
I speak in gestures, body language and more often in tones.
There are the perfect storms when lyrics and harmonies collide and express everything.
“All the things that we both might say” Peter Gabriel
There exists a condition called synaesthesia; from the Ancient Greek σύν syn, “together”, and αἴσθησις aisthēsis, “sensation”. It’s a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.*
Union of the senses.
I read through the variations and did not find mine, the one that matches auditory experiences to feelings and emotions that I cannot begin to eloquently express. But I will try, here and now.
There is no word/diagnosis for how certain tones reverberate through my core and transport me elsewhere and sometimes bring me home.
I went to a strange therapist. The one I call the Obelisk. She told me I was a lioness, it fits.
I hunt, I protect, I provide, and I love lounging in the sun with my sisters.
But as we were making the journey through my subconscious I realized, a lot of the notes that hit me feel like they are being heard underwater. I imagined a sea turtle, compelled to return to the same beach over and over and just as driven to wander the vast ocean in between.
Thankfully the tides ebb and flow, hurricanes form and make landfall depositing flotsam and creating new landscapes to explore.
“Back to you, it always comes around, back to you.” John Mayer
Music for a Found Harmonium (Penguin Café Orchestra) is my heart when she is happy. I have said before she exists in that state just post toddler. A little-pixie-wisp-of-a-thing that babbles and coos in that secret, soothing high speech of children that know there is magic in the world.
You’re So Cool (Hans Zimmer) is how it sounds when I escape the world for a minute or two. Completely content in whatever is happening in that moment. A delicious bite of food, the sun on my skin, those few seconds when I wake from a good dream and it still feels real. Belly laughs and warm beds.
Dorval (Julia Kent) one woman, one cello and a reverb pedal. The cadence reminds me of foreplay, tentative touches and tastes. Fingertips on skin building to caresses. Pulling back and prolonging the moment, shifting bodies. Little uncontrolled undulations brought on by feeling like a marionette, tied to and reacting to the slightest movement of the other.
Panoramic (Atticus Ross) this one is not easy. It’s my heart again. When she is lost, or has lost. It’s a whalesong reaching out across the universe. But as with everything, hidden in the wails there are moments of light and optimism. Please come home.
Parabola (Vitamin String Quartet) is what his absence feels like. Hollow, empty, haunting echoes.
Host of the Seraphim (Dead Can Dance) is the sound of surrender. What is done is done. This is catharsis with intermittent high notes and dulcet tones that say ‘this too shall pass’.
With or Without You (More Strings) strip the title and the lyrics and what we are left with is the same transportation I experience every single time I smell hyacinths. I get to be 4 years old, its spring. I can smell the earth after its been sleeping. The sun is warming everything, coaxing it awake. Robins and red winged blackbirds. Buds on trees, life forces awakening everywhere. It sounds like spring and hope.
Any Other Name (Thomas Newman) is the soundtrack to dreaming. Imagining wonderful places and times where everything is light and good and strange like me. Slow languid wanderings through worlds that haven’t happened yet, but they are coming. I have seen them.
Ocean (John Butler Trio) is an adventure. It’s a summer drive with the windows down and no agenda. A full tank of gas and two cups of really good coffee. It’s driving through the countryside and the beauty in old barns. Stopping at yard sales and finding treasure. It’s a cooler in the back seat full of sandwiches and cold water. Picnic blankets and beach towels. It’s one of those days where the world falls away and its just us.
Acoustic #1 (Pearl Jam) is the inarticulate murmurations of my teenage years. It is the beginning of me. It is a mashed up, flashback to when I was unapologetically myself, becoming. It is where I had to get back to after the world told me what I should be doing. I should be me, I am irreplaceable and full of promise.
Six Feet Under Theme (Thomas Newman) is my musical reminder that death isn’t the end. It signifies letting go of the old ways to make room for change, hope for renewal and the lightness of letting go and the space it creates to thrive.
Postcard from 1952 (Explosions in the Sky) until recently Dorval used to be my musical equivalent to how sex feels to me. That changed. Everything changed. It has become this. Zero to sixty and everything in between. Summer storm clouds coming across the lake, the sky changing colours, lightning flashes illuminating everything, burning perfect pictures into my memory, thunder heads roiling, caught up in the most refreshing downpour, dancing in it, that calm in the center followed by more baptisms falling from the sky and the sun coming out after.
Stalafur (Sigur Ros) is the feeling of calm acceptance. It is not thinking or hoping everything is as it should be, it is believing it with everything I am. It is the realization that although I may not understand the words the lesson itself is beautiful.
Run to Me (Ben Harper & Leila Moss) is what sated feels like. Absolute contentment. Those moments when everything is still and clear. Like a lake so clean you can see the bottom. Enveloped in that feeling of floating weightless and safe in water. It’s as pure as my soul gets. It’s the sensation of being held by something or someone bigger than myself. And the laugh at the end. Happiness.
Idumea (Sacred Harp Singers) is the sound of strength. Its my convictions, my loyalty. It’s the rousing chorus of all the people I used to be working together to move forward. It’s the weight keeping my optimism from floating away.
There are pieces of me in here that defy language, that have to be heard and felt to be understood.
“The way she tells me I’m hers and she’s mine.” Hozier