I've got a Spotify playlist entitled 'heartstrings', and it's reserved for those few songs that conjure something deep within me.
Most of them are less than two and a half minutes and have no lyrics at all. It's a playlist I rediscover every now and again; a tiny bud of warm fuzzies, ambivalence, butterflies (of the tummy variety), nostalgia, (what I like to refer to as) 'the sads', and introspection just waiting for me to press play so that it may bloom and distract me with its puzzling satisfaction.
I'll often choose one of the songs and listen to it multiple times in a row, starting it over before it even has a chance to play through fully once. Rather than selecting the song on its own and playing it on a loop, I'll stop what I'm doing to start it over from the beginning. When I can hear the song coming to an end, I quickly press the back button before it has a chance to reach its final chord.
It's somewhat of a guilty pleasure really, indulging in a thing when you know it should already be a thing of the past.
The youngest of five children (and sufferer of FOMO long before the existence of social media), a lover of many different people and places and cultures, and someone whose brain holds on to the tiniest and seemingly most inconsequential memories (and not statistical formulas or historically significant dates, go figure), my blessing is my curse.
I can dream big and imagine creative, world-changing movements and projects with the best of 'em. I'm going to do something big one day - just you wait.
I can also daydream the hell out of any work day, household chore or (theoretically, of course) online defensive driving course. Yes, in less than a millisecond my mind can wander to a field full of the most beautiful 'heartstrings' blooms you've ever seen - the giggly, 'Alice in Wonderland' type who beg me to pet and pluck and sniff them all the day long.
The downside of said indulgence is that occasionally I fall a bit too far into my daydream, and the sadness of a past life stage or estranged friend lingers in the back of my mind for a few hours, days, or weeks.
As my Pollyanna of a mother would say in reference to whatever it is that I've decided to hold on to or wallow in: 'make a cup, and give it to Jesus' (or whatever diety or fashion designer it is to whom you pray).
[There's actually some physical movement involved with this one: cup your hands and join them together to form a bowl-like shape, place your wallows in said hand bowl, and toss the contents into the air like a crazy person.]
Let it go. Move on and focus on the now. Which is all fine and well, and actually very sound advice. (Momma's got a good bit of experience coaching us wallowers in the ways of positivity and moving on to the next.)
For now, I will settle for a middle ground. Yes, I think I'll find contentment in my decision to grieve everything that comes to an end, and let it lie until the universe nudges me to remember it once again.
Because as much as we'd like to think the past has no real lasting effects, our moments and memories never completely fade away. They leave an imprint.
I get it though, I'm still young - so much life yet to live. Maybe with a few more years and life experiences under my belt I'll have a different take on things. Presently, my theory is as follows:
Everyone has a list, whether they realize it or not. Moments in our lives that we'll never get back, never relive, never get a chance to redo...with people and in places that may or may not play as significant (or insignificant) of a role in our lives as they once did.
Moments of joy, sadness, embarrassment, safety, adventure, carelessness, recklessness, innocence...and whether it's a song, a scent a place or a physical object, we've all got 'triggers' that transport us to those moments that, for some reason or another, our hearts and our heads have agreed to keep around for old times' sake.
- those song lyrics he'll never sing for you
- that dadgum indie song that's making a comeback
- the first sip of an ice cold lager
- when my eyes skim the menu at a restaurant and linger over the carbonara for just a moment
- polish vodka
- a particularly spectacular pirate ship
- the first summer swim at Sandhurst Plaza
- Pocahontas (duh)
- the smell of your clothes after an evening around a firepit
- neon eyeshadow
- the feeling of the pavement under my shoes on a chilly day
There are certainly more, but I haven't gotten around to remembering them lately...