I have this new iphone. One of my favorite features is the ipod which I can play without headphones. Lately, as I walk to and from school to pick up the boys, I play music using the speaker instead of headphones. Think walking the streets with a boombox hoisted onto the shoulder, only smaller… and not on my shoulder.
The thing I love about this is that it’s like walking through life with my own personal soundtrack. Sort of like Ally McBeal when she would walk down the sidewalks to Barry White or some other song, until it abruptly stopped with that awful old turntable scratching sound. Thankfully, mine doesn’t stop so abruptly.
Last week as I walked home from a fall festival, my son and I listened to the soundtrack from “Once” which he hated but I loved. Another day I walked to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Keep Breathing” – which was completely appropriate for how I was feeling. On Saturday night, I took two of my boys to a concert at a local venue a couple blocks away. It was so cold and as we shivered along I got the phone out of my pocket and “cranked up” (as much as you can on a little iphone) the Kanye West song, “Stronger.” It was perfect. “Thaa thaa thaat that don’t kill ya, will only make ya stronger.” We started dancing and jogging and pretty soon we were at our destination a little warmer, a little happier, and a little stronger, I’m sure.
The best part of using a soundtrack to life this way is that the headphones do not obstruct the sound of other things around me. I can hear my footsteps or the birds or the men at the local barber shop trading stories of their days as I walk past. I do not want to tune out to my surroundings, I simply want to let the music accompany me as I take in my surroundings.
I suggest everyone try this whole soundtrack notion. It’s very stirring. And you’ll discover much about your mood or your attitude by the songs you choose at any given time. Whether it’s Enya or Violent Femmes, there’s something to be said about the melodies, the harmonies and emotion behind each of the songs we select for that moment.
Now the big question is: What song fits the scene in my life where I am desperately trying to focus on cleaning when I so desperately want to be focusing on something else?