Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Soundtrack

I realize I am a little quirky, but many times there is a soundtrack for my life playing along in my head. I have certain favorites for certain things. I borrowed my downhill ski song from my friend Connie Grosskopf: "Dream a Little Dream of Me" by the Mamas and the Papas. The tempo is just right for my style of skiing, but even more than the tempo, the lightly lilting quality is perfect for staying in the right frame of mind to ski gently.
What is funny to me is the subconscious choice of music. I don't really plan to pick it, like I did the ski song. The first time I understood that was when I narrowly missed being in a car wreck. It was so close, and so traumatic, that I pulled over to let my heart settle down. When I reviewed the scene in my mind, the screeching sound of violins in a frenzy, from a horror movie, accompanied the memory. That sound plays again when a car gets too close or I have to pass an eighteen wheeler on a two lane highway. I am a passing wienie, but that is another story. At any rate, somehow my brain decided that scary sounds were helpful for driving. I tried to override that notion, but it will take some practice to replace that cacophony with something a little more zen.
John Denver stars in my soundtrack a lot. When I reach the top of Don Fernando, a mountain above our cabin in New Mexico, "The Eagle and the Hawk" starts up full volume. If I'm ever there alone, I'll let it rip and join John in a duet. When Bob and I hit the road for home, even though I love our life in Texas just as much because our family is there, John is singing "Goodbye Again" as our car makes its way back down the mountain.
For a reason I can't explain, since no love is lost between true Texans (I'm only a transplant) and those north of the border, when we cross the railroad tracks beyond Clovis and hit the Texas border, I hear Curly and the rest belting out "Oklahoma". Strange. I know. There are a lot of Texas songs. But somehow my mind has chosen that broadway tune to signal re-entry.
Children's songs play a role as well, and maybe that inclination is part of why I chose to write for children. Burl Ives is perfect for paddling a canoe. Most of the time, though, the songs change constantly and I never know what will pop into my head. The last time I cried, Finlandia's yearning strains kept time to the tears.
I guess it's a good thing that only white noise plays when I write. I guess that is so that I can hear my character's voices. At any rate, I sometimes wonder what soundtrack other people hear. Anybody?

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