I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately- finding myself hearing old 'loved' classics that I typically don't listen to (anymore), and having memory flashes that are taking me back in time - to when these songs were relevant in my life- and why- and where I was, and how I felt, and who was in my life at the time.... and..... on and on and on.
This is the beginning of, what's sure to be, a long compilation of my musical nostalgia.
I have to admit- this is one of the blogs that I hope my daughters' get a chance to read in their formative years- so they can understand that I wasn't always where I am (or going to be) in my life.
I want to be raw- honest- and just flat out BARE-NEKID about the memories that flash back via these songs; so that I can have a good recollection of what I experienced in my formative years- and hopefully, be able to show my daughters that it's possible for me to empathize with them- despite the old-fogey status I'm sure to have reached by then.
First- I gots-ta offer a clarification as to WHY I typically try NOT to listen to 'secular' music as a primary source of musical entertainment:
It's not that I think secular music is "evil".... ahem... if we're talking Waterboy lingo "of the debil".... or anything randomly and ridiculously religious like that.
Music has been, for as long as I can recall, one of the most important parts of my life. I sure can't explain exactly why, but truly- in all forms, it has typically been able to deeply impact me, in one way or another.
I can quickly get transported into an entirely different mood and mindset- just by putting myself in the midst of a song. Or album. Or genre.
(That's deep, man!)
Back in the day- when the lyrics of Bush said "I don't wanna come back down from this Cloud...."- part of me wanted to be on the same cloud as Gavin Rossdale. He sounded just as tormented as I was (in that time of my life). He seemed to be able to empathize with the hidden compartments inside my mind, based on his music, and the lyrics, I had this feeling that I wasn't alone in my thoughts. Something in me said "You can trust what this guy is singing about- he gets you- he knows where you're coming from....." and
Bush certainly did have a huge effect on me at age 15. It wasn't positive. I think this is probably a time that I realized exactly how effective music was on me. We'll come back to this later.
Fill in the blank to whomever else was a huge part of my music-bank in that time frame: A little bit of grunge, hard rock, pop, country, and even some skr8raight up- GANgStA bein' repre-zented by the Bone Thugs in Harmony.... Whaaaaat-UP!!!!!
At a time in my life when I found VERY FEW people that understood me- I found that I was drawn to songwriters as if they were these emotionally empathetic magnets. Music was an outlet- a way for me to deal with some of the hardships that I experienced, but couldn't quite compute.
It was a way for me to put a form of wordage to the feelings I was unable to express.
I could create my own comprehension of the lyrics, based on the way the music moved me during that specific time in my life. I grew to a point- that I did I want to even know the "story behind the song", because really- I had MY OWN story for the song.
Fast forward to the here and now "Amber"- and I'm still that teen-aged girl drawn to music in an effort to help me sort through my crazy life.
I've been "MADE NEW", (and I'm like- SUPER OLD now), so, the life stuffs that I need to sort through can not be "lyrically counseled" inside the secular world. At all!
Whereas before- I needed to hear someone express that THEY, too were in the same kind of pain I was in. They, too, had suffered.... I needed to hear them angry, and synical, and depressed, and... whatever it was I was feeling at the time that I was latching on to the song; NOW I have to testify to an entirely different reason for my ever-growing-musical-passion.
When hopelessness rears it's ugly head in my face, and I feel bound, and broken hearted, and ANGER because I can't understand..... I can tap one of my Worship playlist and hear Nichole Nordeman's "I AM". I can sob with a different sort of brokenness when I'm being ministered by Kari Jobe's "You Are For Me". The sorrows that try to surface from my past are often squashed by the hopeful lyrics of Casting Crowns' "The Voice of Truth", and Natalie Grant's heart-on-her-sleeve "The Real Me".
I can't lie and act like I'm perfectly renewed just because I've surrendered my self to Christ- I'm still prone to depression- and it's really easy for me to trip up in my walk- falling flat on my face, with scraped knees and bruised palms- right back onto the 'wider path'.
That alone would be reason enough to fill my spirit with music that sings Truth, and Hope, and Love, and Redemption, and .....
But that's not the only reason I choose to fill my ears with word-based-lyrics, and anointed musical compositions; it's because I WANT to hear it. It's relevant. I can relate. Like country music to sappy romantics; but so much better. This music is FOR REAL moving, rather than emotionally moving.
It doesn't just minister to my heart, and my spirit, and my mind- but it does something that I have a hard time doing on my own....something that typically- I DO NOT do on my own- it puts my FLESH in a solid-white, tie-in-the-back, double lined, triple stitched, hard-core STRAIGHT JACKET; it immobilizes the hyper-active 'sin nature' in me - for at LEAST the length of the song/album....
I have a primary collection of contemporary Christian. But? On one, specific MP3 player- I have old and new favorites- anyone from PINK, to Nickelback, Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, Bad Company, Carly Simon, Brook Frasier.... and on and on..... IT's my 'work out' player- - - my 'I'm just gonna check out for a lil bit' player'.
OUT. OF. NOWHERE- songs and memories.... just show up, uninvited- harassing my busyness, probing for attention. And this is why I'm here, on this blog page. If I don't write about- it won't leave me alone. In the past 24 hours, I've already compiled a 52 song playlist of some of the past and present nostalgic....
Geesh.... 'present nostalgic' is a complete oxymoron. Whatever. Who cares? I love oxymoron's.
The Past Two Weeks
8 months ago