Sunday, October 01, 2006

Here's What I Missed

Okay, so I'm home from Japan now. Fully ensconced in the American lifestyle again. Had a McDonald's Big and Nasty with cheese, fries and a coke the moment I got home. So much for the maybe-I-can-keep-up-the-healthy-seafood-diet-thing-when-I-get-home crap. In a word? No.

I've already, this week, indulged in fast food, burgers at home, 3 poached eggs and 4 strips of bacon (in one breakfast sitting), beef stroganoff, chili, and turtles (just one a night though). My colon should be crying.

Besides intestinally devious food, here's what else I missed in Japan - and didn't realize it until today (7 days later): Music.

I asked Ray what we should do this weekend, and he surprised me by saying, "Umm, I don't know...maybe get some colour?" So while he napped off the rest of his cold, I went out to the chaise in the backyard by the pool and I did just that. I got some colour. A little too much of it actually, I'm a little hot under this quilt - could be due to the redness of my skin.

Anyway. I sat out there with my iPod on shuffle. For at least an hour and a half, I was pleased by the surprise of the next song, never knowing what was coming around the corner. The earbuds afforded a better, more accurate quality of sound...I discovered new aural images during the beginnings and fade-outs of well-known songs. There were things I'd never heard before. Little laughs before the drummer set the intro pace, or last words in the fade that were undetectable on the radio or in my kitchen iPod docking station.

It's obvious that they were always there, but why hadn't I heard them before? Was it really the lack of definition in the car or kitchen speakers, or was it the fact that I haven't sat down, in a very long time, and done nothing but really listened to the music? Am I too often multi-tasking, taking the sound for granted, as just background noise to carry me from one errand to the other? I'm thinking yes.

Today I sank into the music. I let it transport me, as music is wont to do, much like smell takes one back to a certain time or place. I felt the political overtones of Peter Gabriel. Alanis took me back to appreciating how Ray pulled me out of the dumps. Philip Glass sent me to the stage performing Betsy's Beneath the Wake. I rode on A1A with Coldplay, the Caldecott Tunnel with John Mayer, cross country with Gotan Project. I felt Ray Charles' drug addiction and the romance of Mansfield Park's soundtrack. I heard Black Francis' manic wail and James Iha's sweet contretemps guitar.

But mostly I just listened.
I really listened.

1 comment:

cK said...

Sounds like a lovely day, friend. And nice writing.

It is funny how things sound so much different when they're isolated in your head via the ear buds. All the layers came forth.

Speaking of Japan, I wish I'd picked up some of those sweet-looking headphones all the kids wore on the trains.