The year 2003 began for me a time of personal epiphanies as I rediscovered passions required for truly Living my life. Years of marriage and raising a child had sort of sucked the "me" out of me. I love my family, but it became clear that the person my husband married had disappeared under the daily slog of errands, school stuff, kid stuff, housework, yard work, work work and everything in between. I became someone else entirely. Frankly, I wasn't real crazy about myself and was inwardly sort of miserable. I couldn't put my finger on it, really. Good marriage, living on a lake, great daughters, good dog, trusty Subaru, great family and in-laws. All that was missing was the picket fence. But there was something missing in my life.
One day the summer of 2003 I read something on-line about a new CD coming out by an artist I had loved long ago. Oh, wow....I remember that guy. His music always spoke to me. The moment it hit the shelves my money hit the counter and I ran to my trusty Subaru to give it a listen. It's damned hard to get all that cellophane and stickers and whatnot off a new CD - have you noticed? Good grief. My hands were shaking from effort and excitement. Finally, the hermetically sealed CD was free from encumbrances and excitedly popped into the CD player, which I wasn't sure even worked since I'd never used it.
Slowly and exquisitely a complex, deep, luscious sound began to roll out of the speakers. I swear it swam down my ears and into my bloodstream and my heart began to pound with the beat. Sting's clear, distinctive voice bathed my soul like a soft, warm bath. "Inside the wounded hide their scars...." Oh, my God, I'm awake now. It's hard to describe, but it was as if every cell in my body began to vibrate with an intensity not felt in over a decade. Music, the beat, the complexity, the chords, the harmonies, the lyrics, the meaning, the sheer artistic nature of the beast drew me in like a lover's hug.
...all the days of my life I will walk with you,
...all the days of my life I will talk with you,
...all the days of my life I will share with you,
...all the days of my life I will bear with you...
I knew then without a doubt that music had been absent. Since marriage, husband and child the only piped in sounds came from Barney, Winnie the Pooh, Disney, CNN, History Channel and all manner of television channels. No music. Not my music. No symphonies, no rock & roll, no R&B, nothing....no Sting.
I grew up with the Beatles music constantly surrounding me. Beatles, Hendrix, James Taylor (the ORIGINAL JT, thank you very much), Cream, Clapton, The Who, etc., etc., (I'm dating myself but oh well) They were the soundtrack of my life. Music was my Oz, my escape, my passion. The first time I heard The Beatles on the radio I was like Dorothy stepping outside her black and white world into a world of color and life and music and singing. This CD - Sacred Love - shook my shoulders and said "WAKE UP!" And I did! That was a defining moment - October 2003 - the parking lot of Best Buy with Sting's Sacred Love CD. From that point on I began buying music and more music and more music. I had a lot of catching up to do.
Today, my CD cabinet is filled and my iPod is my best friend. Music brought me back out into the light. I dance now - all by myself, but dance I do. And I sing - all by myself in the car with the music blaring - and I bob my head to the beat and enjoy every road trip. The reintroduction of music into my daily life reawakened other passions - photography, art, learning, writing, nature, God, everything. Everything. My family is blithely amused, but I think they enjoy me much more now. My artistic self has been released due to exposure to music generated by all manner of artists. Life is beautiful and I am "me" again.
Why did I allow my life to become mundane? True, I had obligations like everyone else but I'd forgotten to include ME in the day-to-day. Since the day of reawakening I learned that I have to exercise my passions daily just like I exercise my body. The discovery for me was that yes, I can live without music, photography, art, culture, writing, hiking, birdwatching and all my personal passions....but why? Without music I'm a shadow, a wraith, some invisible being that simply and quietly floats from place to place in grim fashion. With music, I'm a bopping, singing, dancing, artistic wild child. I much prefer the latter me.
Anyway, thanks Sting for helping me remember who I am, who I've always been.