We went to see The Tallest Man on Earth recently with some of our good friends. We started the night off with a picnic in the park, and then biked over to the North Park Theatre. Being at a local venue listening to live music is one of my happy places, especially when it's an artist whose lyrics have touched my soul at different points along this journey. I can remember listening to his music every day on my way to work during the winter of 2011, watching the sunrise from my driver's side window. It was a season that was particularly challenging for me, and that space in the car each morning was a little refuge, centering me for each day so I had enough to give to my students. One song in particular spoke to me during that time, which includes these lyrics: "I said I could rise... from the harness of our goals. Here come the tears, but like always, I let them go... just let them go." I am naturally a goal-oriented person, and one of the greatest lessons I learned during that season was that it is okay to let up on one's goals a little and that seeking happiness is a worthwhile goal to have. I related to those words I heard on my car rides to work, and at the concert, as I heard them again, belted from the stage, my eyes teared up a bit.
I guess that's one of the reasons I love music so much. The way that a single song or album or artist has the ability to transport me to a specific time and place and jog a memory of days past. The way that it fills me up when I am feeling particularly empty. The way that it provides a soundtrack to some of my most challenging and joyful times in life and all of the simple days in between.