The Heart of Music

It’s hard to describe what happens to me when I strap on my guitar and strum the first chord of the first song of the first set. Something or someone else takes control, directing every move, every chord change, every word. I’m just the vessel, the transportation; destination unknown.

I think the heart of music is each of us, all of our hearts combined to form many vessels, many forms of transportation, with many unknown destinations. The beauty of all that is we don’t need to understand the heart itself, we just need to feel the body that contains it. But how is that possible?

Make a playlist of 20 or 25 of your favorite songs, then share that with someone, anyone, and ask them to make one and share it with you. I’m convinced that if we do that it just might be possible to feel, to see each other again. And heal ourselves from the hatred and division that has infected us.

Here’s a playlist of 20 of my favorites in no particular order. I know it might be hard for some of you to list only 20, or maybe even two or three, but even if it’s just one song that touches you in a special way, share it here with us in a comment. And then go out and feel the bodies of music all around you.

  1. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan)
  2. Slither (Mandolin Orange)
  3. Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2 (Father John Misty)
  4. Love is All (The Tallest Man On Earth)
  5. She Lit a Fire (Lord Huron)
  6. Over The Rainbow (Eva Cassidy)
  7. Red Light (The Paper Kites)
  8. Cedar Lane (First Aid Kit)
  9. Blacktop (Julien Baker)
  10. Holocene (Bon Iver)
  11. Tennessee Whiskey (Chris Stapleton)
  12. Hey Hey What Can I Do (Led Zeppelin)
  13. Hotel California (Eagles)
  14. How To Forget (Jason Isbell)
  15. Wooden Ships (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
  16. Pink Rabbits (The National)
  17. The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert)
  18. I Can Almost See You (Hammock)
  19. Am I Going Up (All Them Witches)
  20. Blue Moon of Kentucky (Bill Monroe)

That’s fine

Is it really? I was having a discussion with my wife the other day and was trying to explain my confusion about the wedding guest list she had to prepare for my son’s upcoming wedding. I knew that she wasn’t very happy with my explanation when she replied with a “that’s fine.”

I took it as sarcasm. You can compare it to what’s often said down south when someone says “bless his/her heart” when the person it’s directed at has made an attempt at doing or saying something that doesn’t meet your standards. Or that you think is below your standards.

It’s a low-level insult, but an insult nonetheless. The one saying it might not realize he or she has uttered something offensive if he or she doesn’t pick up on certain signs from the other person. I’m not sure the signs I gave were the right ones.

The guest list my son wanted from her were the names of my wife’s close friends who were planning on attending, not the entire guest list of everyone. When my wife told me she had to get the guest list ready I thought she meant names of everyone, not just the names of her friends. When I tried explaining why I was confused she said: “that’s fine.” I don’t think my explanation lived up to her standards, bless my heart.

I should learn how to have discussions without explaining myself.