A Moment in My Life – Whimsical Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Jeannie Yee Davis
I’ve seen so much change as we go through the motions of living a life—growing up, getting an education, working our careers, discovering ourselves, and interacting with people—basically coming into our own. Civilization keeps on advancing along with us with new must-haves. It’s a constant game of out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new. Many things we once adored we now cherish as a memory, but one constant remains through the test of time, and that’s music. Music has taken different forms, with new artists making a name for themselves, but music has not disappointed over the years.
According to the Smithsonian, “Making music is a universal human trait that goes back to at least 35,000 years ago.” No wonder we’re so drawn to music—it’s a human trait. Not for everybody, but music touches all of us at one time or another—for some, more so. If there’s a celebration, there is music. Are you working on a physical project or exercising? Music makes the task more enjoyable. Need some white noise? Turn on the music. Even during the sad times, music consoles.
I’m not sure how it began, but during my teen summers, our house was the “happening” place where the neighbor’s kids snuck over after our parents went to work, and we spent every day together. It always started the same way, with us fighting over who went first to choose the songs we sang with a hairbrush in hand. It’s incredible how fast the day flew by when we entertained ourselves along with records—before karaoke became the bomb. Someone once told me kindly, when I sang, not to give up my day job. Hence, you won’t ever catch me singing in a karaoke bar. My public singing resides with the old hairbrush in the past. Do you want to know a secret? I still sing, but only in my safe place—my car with the windows rolled up where nobody can hear me.
It’s funny how things worked out. Forever, I was a closet music lover. It might have something to do with my getting into trouble for listening to my Walkman under the covers in the middle of the night as a teen—pre-headphone days. During the pandemic, I’ve come out of the closet, and proudly so. Thanks to technology, I could listen to music on my phone all day and even Bluetooth my playlist onto my car’s sound system. Why stop there? If you run into me somewhere and call my name, please don’t think I’m ignoring you if I don’t respond. It’s most likely that I didn’t hear you since I typically have music piping through my ears.
If there is music nearby, you can count on smiles. One day, I stood in the long 6 feet apart checkout line at Trader Joe’s, immersed in my music. The cashier kept turning towards me as I approached his checkstand, and he got my attention. We made eye contact, and we were swaying to the rhythm of the music in my ears. For a moment, he scared me. Can everybody around me hear my music, too? It turned out he was only mirroring my swaying. Oh oops. I was embarrassed, but his luminous eyes put me at ease. When I reached him, he said that it was refreshing seeing someone have a good time in line different from the same old, same old—that made sense. I can imagine how bland the same old could be. For a moment, music connected us and covered our faces with smiles.
I can’t imagine a life without music. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to music as much as I have during the last couple of years. It’s been a lifesaver for those moments where there was so much noise in my head that I couldn’t think. When I needed a good cry, a sad song helped that along. So many beautiful pieces bring back memories as if they were yesterday to relive and warm my heart, especially when it was our songs. Beautiful melodic tunes quickly fill the void of loneliness. An uplifting melody gets me dancing my happy dance, which instantaneously replaces any gloomy mood. Some soulful songs inspired me to write my stories, which never would have happened otherwise.
I connected with two different groups online, where we share a mutual passion for music. For the first time, I’m not enjoying songs alone. My groupies and I share song videos, and having discussions over the songs has introduced me to some great songs and some beautiful people—all because of music.
It’s no understatement when I claim the importance of music in my world. It may seem frivolous and a waste of time to some people, but I can assure you that it couldn’t be further from the truth. Music is a survival mechanism that can soothe a hurt, mend a broken heart, resonate a love, officiate a celebration, commiserate a farewell, and connect people.
Music has seen me through my formative years. It has been like an old trusted friend who has been there for me through the good times and the bad, which means music is my life.