Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blogtoberfest Day #3: Worthiness Wednesday #74 The healing power of music


I started my first job after graduation in 1996. It so happened that my boyfriend at the time worked in the same building as my new office, one floor up.

About three weeks into the job, he dumped me on my lunchbreak. Ten days later, he started a relationship with his housemate (whom he subsequently married). A few days after that, I opened an internal mail envelope to discover that he had sent me the toothbrush I used to leave at his house.

To say that I was devastated would be an understatement.

At that time, I was still in touch with quite a few of my university friends. I had also started bonding with my new flatmate, who ended up becoming one of my dearest friends in the universe. My new colleagues were surprisingly supportive, seeing as wed only really just met. My family were loving and wonderful.

I was so grateful to be surrounded by people who loved me while I tended my broken parts.

But the thing that I honestly reckon helped me heal -- apart from copious amounts of red wine -- was music.

Specifically, Annie Lennox's Diva.

I reckon I had that album on repeat for three months solid. It was surely about the lyrics but I also think that Annie's plaintive voice, the soaring arc of her instrumentals, the vibration of her tunes appealed to my suffering on a cellular level. You know that feeling when all you want to do is dance?

Last year, when I was going through a down patch, Beirut's The Rip Tide came to the rescue. When I sat down to create, it was Yael Naim's She Was a Boy. When I washed the dishes but harboured secret fantasies of rocking it out on guitar, it was Alain Johannes' Spark. This year, Regina Spektor's Patron Saint was my Winter anthem.

I suspect we all have certain songs we associate with specific times in our lives. What music do you remember listening to during the Summer as a teenager? What did scores made you twirl like a bedroom ballet queen, or sing with a hairbrush in front of the mirror? What is "your song" with your current partner? What song makes you cry, even when you hear it in a department store (especially when you hear it in a department store)?

This week, I invite you to recall the songs or albums that spoke directly to you when nothing else made sense. You could make yourself a playlist, to plug back into when you need that "something extra".

Or you could just remember that you have the power to heal your own soul, and it's only an iPod (or walkman or record player!) away. Because you are worthy of all the comfort you need.

Those of you playing along with Blogtoberfest might be new to Worthiness Wednesday. Don't be shy! Basically, it's a weekly prompt where I share my musings about the word "worthy" and my journey to understand what self-worth means to me. You are most welcome to respond on your own blogs, share your thoughts in the comments below, or just let the prompt marinate in your mind for a wee while.

20 comments:

  1. whenever i hear anything off of paul simon's graceland album, i remember being a kid dancing around the living room. was years since i listened to it, but when i put it on i still knew all of the words

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  2. Such an interesting post. I find I turn to classical music for comfort especially Mozart .

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  3. The sounds of Nirvana's very first indie release "Bleach" reminds me of my days studying pattern drafting and making garment samples for my fashion design assignments. You wouldn't believe it to see my designs that I was listening to GRUNGE ROCK!! And I was lucky enough to have met Kurt Cobain before they hit it big with "Nevermind" - he was polite and shy and his ending was sad indeed =-(
    Thank you for prompting some great memories Kat =-)

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  4. It changes all the time! Just checked my "most played" ... The zombie song by Stephanie Mabey. lol!

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  5. That boyfriend was such a bum-face! This is embarrassing, but I listen to some Bjork songs and am taken straight back to 1st year uni - that was a fun time. Not that I listen to her often... :-/

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  6. Anything Bon Jovi, always and forever, since about 1986 :D
    Have you got Spotify? I signed up a month or so ago and it has been a total lifesaver for me - I can listen to any music I can think of, any time. Music heals and helps, always x

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  7. This is a fabulous post. I reckon this would resonate with all of us. For me, songs have always been the trigger to very specific memories. I think it is a beautiful way to remember.
    x

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  8. Lovely thoughtful post. My story isn't so much about a particular song or album, but when my children were much younger, we would put classical music on at dinner time. It was the signal to slow down, come to help set the table and that dinner was ready, but it had the most amazing calming effect on everyone (I had 6 children under 10yrs old) and led to dinnertime being really peaceful- not no talking - just very peaceful and harmonious - I must ask them now they are older what they remember of it.

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    1. I am so impressed that you could create a single "calm" moment in a house with six kids under 10 - wow!

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  9. Great idea for worthiness wednesday. For me it's the "Seachange" (ABC telly) soundtracks. It relaxes me every time. x

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  10. Great post! I love music and certain songs can bring back a memory from when I was young as if I was there again. Music can be very powerful. Nowadays, when I want to go within and just take a break from the chaos of everyday life, I love to listen to Enigma.

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  11. It is funny how you don't think you are paying much attention to music as a child but the music my parent played in the car like abba, fleetwood mac have stuck in my head. When I would hear the songs as I got older , i would wonder how I knew all the lyrics. There are def songs I have that reflect the mood I am in or a moment in time. Music is a big part of our lives.

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  12. Ahhhh too many stories, too many songs ... only happy songs in my life now! My 3.5 year old Great-Grandbaby and I singing "Opa Gangnam Style" and Katy Perry today was bliss ;)

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  13. Music is like another sense for me, brings back memories faster than scents I think. I love when I accidentally hear a song and a memory come flooding back.

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  14. My Dad is in a band ... I used to fall asleep to the band practicing at home, usually in bed but sometimes sat at the top of stairs which was always a better place to listen! x

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  15. hubby;s and my song is 'Love is all Around' by Wet, Wet Wet and i remember it from when we were dating, hubby holding me and singing it in my ear (he has a lovely voice) while we slow danced. I also have a happy song 'A new Soul' by Yael Naim, love the clip.

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  16. Love this post & so agree with the healing qualities of music & it's amazing ability to transport me back to specific places & times in my life! Being a sensitive & somewhat melancholic soul, Wendy Matthews or Tracy Chapman were never far from my ears as a teenager. Enigma was there too.
    Nowadays, Bon Iver's album 'Bon Iver' has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of being pregnant after lots of heartache & disappointment then finally welcoming our son into the world! x

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  17. I put up my first attempt at catching up is here. http://knittinginbeantown.blogspot.com/2012/10/blogtoberfest-first-thre-days.html

    Now I am off to read at least three new blogs. Oh, time is such precious currency.

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  18. I love music, it is a deep passion that I share with my hubby. We love everything from Johhny Cash to St Germain to Temper Trap and everthing in between. An inspirational blogpost x

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  19. I love music and have so many songs that I relate to different time sin my life some good some not so good, and I always feel a little guilty towards the songs of the not so good times - they didn't ask to be related to the bad times lol. Great post. x

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