I expect you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been doing to relax after taking my final exam of the semester (and indeed of my degree, as the rest of my modules are essay-assessed) on Thursday, and I can reveal I have been unwinding and giving myself a well-earned rest by… well, preparing the final draft of my dissertation plan and reading some more secondary criticism on female hagiography. But enough of my crazy shenanigans.
I felt impelled to blog today after a very touching conversation with my father. I don’t often get this personal on this blog, but this discussion really made me pause for thought and I think beautiful moments like this should be shared.
Today I did something I rarely do: I went to my Papa and asked him for some meaningful advice. Don’t get me wrong – my father and I have a wonderfully close relationship, but when it comes to problem-solving I normally turn to my Mama first. Papa is always more of a silent shoulder (equally crucial to me), but today I felt the urge to ask for his wisdom. I had been debating a decision all day – a decision that in the greater scheme of things was really quite insignificant, but one that meant a lot to me – about whether I should confront someone, (like I said – I don’t do ‘personal’ on this blog, so I won’t go into detail.)
After offering some words of encouragement that genuinely helped, he suddenly got up and moved to his study, saying: “I know a song that will help you make up your mind.”
My Papa has what can only be described as a monumental C.D collection – literally thousands lining the walls of his study – and his frenzied passion for music has deeply coloured my childhood memories, as he educated me on some of the greatest artists in the world on the long car journeys we shared (it is from him I got my love of Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Vonda Shepard and bizarrely Gloria Estefan and Catatonia.)
For this reason, I knew that whatever he found for me a) would help in just the way he said it would b) would become an intensely special song to me. And it did.
Again, revealing the song would give more away of the problem than I feel comfortable with, but I can reveal the artist he played was the hauntingly honest Dory Previn. We listened together, I shed a tear, and I immediately took the C.D upstairs to burn it to my iTunes library as it had inevitably gained a special place in my heart.
It’s funny how music – whether dancing along to Yellow Submarine or Show Me The Way Back To Your Heart in the car when I was seven, singing Hide and Seek on the back of a school bus with my best friend, or listening peacefully to Dory Previn on a rainy Saturday – can fuse you to a moment in time and to a person. Even funnier how it can bring a moment of clarity that helps you make a difficult decision so much more resolutely than mere words.
Do you have songs that have defined a moment in your life? I think we all do, but I’d love to discover how music has shaped you.
Image taken from seier+seier+seier‘s photostream.