|Brian's I-Pod and My I-Pod. Together at last.... Awwww....|
If you were to look at the selection of music and books on my I-Pod, you might think a pack of drunken gerbils had gotten together and started programming one night during a wild party.
It looks like they had a fine time drinking beer and high-fiving each other as they downloaded hits of the 70’s, religious classics, corny country songs, and new age books. Ever the organizer, I have been careful to craft playlists that group like things together.
Kia (my dog) and I take a walk every morning and most of the time I select one of my playlists or listen to the radio. The other morning though, my I-Pod got on some weird shuffle thing and I found myself listening to computer-selected bits of the hodge-podge collection.
My first reaction was to switch it off that setting, but my hands were cold and I was in a curious mode, so I just let it go. For the next hour I listened as songs from my past came on, interspersed with short tracks from books.
At first it was a little jarring to hear a three minute segment from Joel Osteen reminding me that I am valued child of God, followed by a rockin’ rendition of “It’s Raining Men,” by The Weather Girls. Then it was on to Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England,” followed by Garrison Keillor musing about the raccoons in Lake Wobegon. Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty belted out “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.” Then it was time for a little some Bach, followed by a bit of a lecture on images in Poe’s poetry.
Some selections sent me back in time. Some propelled me forward. Some made me smile and others made me tear up. There were some that were more than a little embarrassing and others that completely surprised me. (The theme song from Xanadu? Really?) The range of emotions and movement through time jostled my brain a little.
Near the end of my walk, I reached into my pocket, turned my I-Pod off and just listened to the sound of my own heart, beating away, healthy and strong, as I walked up to my own front door.
The new thing for me, Betty Control, was that I just let whatever come, come. I didn’t even try to classify, organize, or categorize. I just let the next selection play, listened to it, and take me wherever it wanted.
I am normally a bit believer in resolutions. I love making that list at the first of the year, so full of hope and possibility.
But maybe that is just a playlist of sorts and maybe this year I need to live my life on shuffle, to experience it all—the trips back in time, the trips forward in time, the fun, the pain, the uncertainty, the surprises—without trying to control them.
In this next year, experiences will come and experiences will go. My hope is to listen each one with an open mind and let it teach me what I need to learn.
Above all else, in the midst of the busy year ahead, I must remember to periodically shut everything else out and just listen to the music of my own heartbeat.
In the end that’s the most important song, and the one that will always lead me back home.