Music and Time Travel

“Most words evolved as a description of the outside world, hence their inadequacy to describe what is going on inside me.” Quote by Hugh Prather

On Friday evening, my husband and I were together, cooking Shabbat dinner.  He’s in charge of salad and fish.  I handle the rest.  When I wasn’t looking, he switched my usual Pandora Amy Winehouse station to a Motown station. (Don’t you just love Pandora?) Within seconds he grabbed my hands and we were dancing around the kitchen like a couple of clumsy goof balls as Diana & The Supremes crooned about falling in and out of love.  We were having a blast.



But, something else was also happening.  For the two and a half minutes the song played, my mind left my kitchen and travelled back to a warm July day in 1982.  I was nineteen again and riding in a big old blue bomb of a car with my Jersey shore summer roommates. We were cruising down the Garden State Parkway singing along with the Supremes. Thrilled that Diana “Got him back in my arms again.”

As a writer, I’m constantly searching for words to describe emotions, experiences and reactions, hoping I choose ones that resonate with the reader.  I envy the musician/song writer because through their art, they achieve something I never will as a writer—time travel.  When I hear the Supremes, I’m in that dumpy Ocean City apartment dancing with Diane, Stacey and Debbie.  A Flock of Seagulls returns me to my first week at Pitt, inside the dorm room I shared with Suzanne.  When anything by U2 plays, I’m with my brother, walking from the parking lot to Three Rivers Stadium to for the first, last and only U2 concert we saw together.

All of these are more than memories. I’m there. I see it. I feel it.  Pictures are nice, but they don’t come close to evoking the experience as a song does.  What do you think—Pictures or music?  What transports you?   Any special song/ memory you’d like to share?  Write it in the comments.

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