Sunday, June 21, 2009

A simple ipod.

Friday I knew I was going to be alone in my shared office room at work. I can’t get much on the radio there, so I brought my ipod. I don’t listen to music like I did when I was younger, and hadn’t heard everything I loaded on my ipod. I realized that some of the songs I downloaded using a file sharing site, weren’t very good. Too quiet, or various other things. So I decided to spend some of this weekend checking out everything I had in my itunes play lists.

I literally spent all day Saturday deleting and loading music directly from my own CD’s. Much, much better. But now I think I know why I don’t listen to music very much. It doesn’t bring me a lot of joy. It hurts my heart.

There are songs that bring me all the way back to grade school, songs I know because my older brother used to play them on his stereo when I was a kid. Like the music of Simon and Garfunkel. Songs that put me right back in the hallway outside the gym in 8th grade when I was painting banners for the basketball team. Songs like “Me and Mrs Jones” by Sly and the Family Stone. I heard things that didn’t necessarily put me in a specific place or with a specific person, but are attached to emotions from the time period that bring me pain. Bread. The best of Bread.

I have always been very emotional, and as I’ve written before – I have struggled with depression my whole adult life and probably through my teen years as well. And listening to music was something I did to find the words to voice my pain when I couldn’t do it any other way. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone, there were other people out there who felt the same way I did. Seeing how I always felt like some kind of over-emotional freak – music commiserated with me in a way my friends or family couldn’t.

There are songs that are bittersweet for me now, songs that were the background for events in my life that were good at the time, but soured later. Boz Scaggs, or “Temptation Eyes” by The Grass Roots. I must have always attached a lot of emotions to the music I have listened to in my life, and now it is hard to listen.

Having reached this point in my life I felt I have handled many things well, or at least come to understand why I have done some things and come to terms with other things, people, choices I've made. But I'm thinking I have just hardened my heart to the point where the disappointments and wounds don't hurt anymore. I've put a wall up that is pretty impenetrable now.

Apparently music is something that is able to pierce that protective cover I have built around my heart.

So I don't listen much.


  1. I agree with you. I recently had to "sort" my tunes too. Music can be very depressing and discouraging.. It is nice to know I am not the only music "critic" out there.
    By the way your blog page is lovely.

  2. Thank you Sheila, I appreciate your understanding - and glad you stopped by!

  3. Very interesting BetteJo, and I understand what you are saying! These days I tend only to listen to music when I am out exercising - and then its only upbeat happy workout-tempo stuff only to keep the feet going and prevent boredom. I dont really want my feelings poked anymore, so I dont put it on...but I still hear songs in my head as a sort of 'soundtrack' - always right on the money they are too....
    Thanks for sharing BetteJo, and Temptation Eyes - Wow! I havent heard that in SOOOOOOO long :)

  4. Amazing what we attach our emotions to, isn't it?

  5. I completely agree! There's music I won't listen to anymore because it makes me sad or angry. However, there's a lot of music I love! Maybe you just need some new bands! It takes a while to find new favorites, (especially because popular music has gone to shit in the last 20 years) but there are some really wonderful groups out there!

  6. I love my ipod! Most of the songs on it have some memories attached.

  7. I suffer from Terrets (sp) when older music is playing

  8. I am with you - even a song from the time that had nothing to do with the actual memory can be very choking.

    I have been suffering very badly from my depression lately and I was saying just the other day actually how I dont pay my music anymore. I tend to play a song over and over and over - the routine was soothing.

    Music can lighten the heart but it can heavy it too!!