We traveled to see Trevor Hall this weekend, on our anniversary. His music fed me through a dark time, as I grew from workerpillar, to cocoon, to soupy autodigested goo, to whatever more wearable shape I am today. I took my family to see him, and be with me while I paid homage.
The crowd was tiny, and I sat with my children and my husband, and our marriage, which has endured 11 years of bend it, don’t break it. I sat, because my children were exhausted and emotional, curled up softly and sweetly under the stars, on the blankets and our laps–listening, and very still, with their tiny eyes wide open until they could hold them no longer.
I held back tears, sitting in surreal truth, that I was one of but a few–who seemed more entranced than envigorated by this man whose words have held me together, lifted me up, and made me more whole. Earlier in the night, I’d held my tiny but mighty, and far more than “cute,” nine-year-old daughter, while she cried on my chest for the entire song To Zion because she said her “sadness bucket had just decided to dump itself out.” And then, lightened of her load, refreshed and renewed, we danced together for one song before retreating to the blanket. Walk softly with me, for these are precious moments.
I cannot discuss Trevor Hall in my right hand, without discussing Nahko Bear in my left. A brand new-new friend lost a loved one, and that is how I was introduced to Nahko Bear. She made a simple facebook post, and I followed it to a place of unanticipated salvation. That man, who I did not know, passed out of this life, and left a love of Nahko Bear in his wake. I have been a diligent and blessed beneficiary almost every day since, and particularly on days when I don’t seem to know myself anymore.
Today, I was making food for my family, to take with us to a four day music festival. There, we will dance more, and laugh, and cry more, and push, sometimes too hard, against our own strong walls. I stood in my kitchen, listening to Pandora, to these two men who have helped me understand the soulful manifestation of the simply cast mantras, prayers, or call them what you will–love is love and truth is truth. From that space of humble spirit, I heard an old song shuffle through, which holds distinct place in my earliest memories–tracing back to my father and many of my older friends who are veterans of the Vietnam War.
It is a song well known from those turbid days: For What It’s Worth, by Buffalo Springfield. Like good music is wont to, it took on a life of its own, way back then. I don’t know that it’s possible to dissect a song like this from its own history and reapply it to a totally different time and context. I only know that today, when it played between Green Mountain State and Bowl of Light, I stopped in my tracks. The lyrics, reapplied to today’s many wounds, rang yet true.
I don’t know how this magic that is called music works, but I do believe it provokes and stirs us in all the right ways. Music heals, and we all have our soundtracks. What is yours? How does it move you?