Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Safe Place

I love music. I'm listening to music practically the entire time I'm awake. I'm also averse to change a lot of the time, so I end up cycling through the same songs very often. That's not to say I'm not open to new music- I have a comfort zone and a safe place that I like to visit fairly often. Today, for instance I ended up spending most of my waking hours listening to exactly two songs on loop. There was a strange comfort in the sombre tone of both songs and the sense of familiarity they produced.

The going has been challenging lately. I find myself involved in large scale projects that are taking a heavy investment of time and thought, leaving me mentally exhausted at the end of the day. One is also obsessively thinking about the course one's life is taking- as I find is the case with a lot of my friends in the same age bracket. I find it strange that it took all of that for me to return to write on my blog, just to find an outlet, which I haven't done for quite a while. My dashboard is now a cluttered pile of half-written posts that I lost the drive to complete somewhere along the way.

Today's a different story. I already mentioned the two songs that produced a strange sense of comfort all day today. By evening I was listening to a third, and I identified that one as the song that I will always go to when I need peace of mind. I had a chat with a friend soon after, asking him if he had a song like that- a "safe place" as it were. "High hopes, I guess", he said, "what's yours?". My safe place is this Dave Matthews Band song called #41. There are no inspirational lyrics, nothing that would obviously connect, but it's just there. I don't know if it's in that guitar lick that plays through the entire song, or in LeRoi or Jeff Coffin's saxophone interludes, but there's something that always presses the right buttons. When I want to feel like it's all going to be OK, that's the song I go to- again and again. I was first introduced to the song way back in 2007 by someone who wanted to share an example of how lively an acoustic guitar needs to sound. It was only a few years later, on my fourth day at Stanford that I felt the comfort that that song provided me. I was deep in the throws of homesickness, wondering how long I'd survive being parted from everyone I knew by half the earth- and then I bought my laptop and #41 was the first song that played. Within about 4 minutes into the song, I felt like I would be just fine, and things will get better soon. Since then, I have visited this song every time I have felt the need to calm myself down, when nothing else has worked, this has always rescued me. 

It was the same story today. This time I felt like I should acknowledge how much this song has helped me over the last two years, without ever really having any words in it that talk to me. This one time, it is purely the music that talks to me, and there's no other song which has the same effect.

Where is your safe place?


Mekhala said...

#41 always! Music is my happy place <3. And the 2 songs on a loop is a familiar concept with me too.

Rohit Pansare said...

....my dashboards cluttered with half-finished posts, I know how it feels man. great post! And yes music is the perfect medicine for the tired soul....

Wanderer said...

Thanks Rohit! Hope you're doing well and bird-watching!