Friday, August 5, 2011

The Memory is in the Music

Dear Isabella,
I plug my headphones into this laptop, with every intention of making a playlist of dramatic ballads and classical music for my budding dancer... that would be you Bella Beautiful...
don't feel bad if you are reading this at the age of twenty or thirty and you are a waitress or a teacher. 
You don't have to be a ballerina, I think for you dancing will simply always be a part of who you are.
 You have done it automatically since you could control your movements.
I've seen Vivian starting to show signs of it too... 
Daniel does it as well, but in his own violent boyish way that will probably need to involve a drum set for him and ear plugs for the rest of us... nothing wrong with that.

Music seems to run deep on both sides of your family.
On my side you have a bit of talent....
does guitar hero count?

(I can hear my mother screaming now that she played the french horn... and she did.
Noted Mom! She also did it while marching in uncomfortable clothes which says something about her character and her stamina.) 

Mostly what you have from my side though is love and passion. My Aunts, my mother, and my sister will often end up in a puddle on the floor after certain songs... and the list of "songs that require kleenex and chocolate" is long for us. You should have seen us trying to pick songs for my wedding.... never mind, you will there are very funny photo's!

If you put on a song we love every woman in my family (especially Andrea) will freak out and reach for the nearest spoon, hairbrush or water bottle and pretend to be Celine Dion for just a few minutes,.... except we are way more into it than she ever was!

On your fathers side there is a lot of measurable talent for every imaginable instrument. 
I am told that your great great Grandmother could play the piano so well she could be handed a piece of music and play it immediately. I love to play and I only dream of being that talented one day.
Your Grandfather (who I sadly never met) played something like Jerry Lee Lewis, or so I am told.
Your Dad has often told me how amazing it was to hear him play, and how your Grammy would hold on to the lamps and picture frames so that the pounding, pulsing honky tonk music wouldn't destroy her home. Someday maybe your Dad will try to find that sheet music and bring it to life again.

Why always someday... one day soon? 
Why not today?
I think we need to start living more in the moment.

But ironically even as I say that my point in beginning to write here tonight is because as I was looking for songs for you, Bella, songs you would like to dance to in your terribly serious and graceful way, 

I instead found my self drifting through time.
Music is a time machine, and I am helpless to do anything but walk away and shut my ears or follow and endure the bittersweet memories with the ghost of FM stations past.

Bitter mostly for a time left behind, and people too.
The ones you can't get back... either because they have left this earth and they will be forever young, 
or because you have both changed too much... and to say you even know each other anymore would be absurd.

Sweet for the good times remembered forever in that one song....
that takes you at breath taking speed right back to that one summer.
That one place. 
That one person.
That one party.
That one dance floor.
That one road trip.

And sweet again because even though that song is yours in a deeply personal way, it also belongs to a thousand other people who have loved, and lived, and cried, and danced to it.
And love it as fiercely as you do.

That's why I'm not naming any of my songs here.Because it might shatter the picture I am trying to paint.

Yours are not mine... but chances are if you know me enough to be reading my blog then we share a few awesome memories and songs. And I am sure Bella, that you and I, and Tommy, Daniel, Vivi, and Daddy will share more real life soundtrack moments than anyone before us.

God tells us in His word that dance and music and praise are powerful.
I think that is why a song can hold us in its grasp all our lives. 
God knows we are a people who will react to song. We will hear a song and remember something. 
If we love Him it will often be His love and the blessings we have that we will remember first,
and our biggest blessing on this earth is each other.

So for now I will leave past to itself.... the oldies, and the 80's pop, and the grunge rock, and the hair bands.... and I'll get back to your playlist of Disney Princess classics, Chopin, Debussy, Hannah Montana, Nicole Nordeman, Adele, and Celine Dion.
I hope you like it, I hope you love the dance lessons Nana and Pap got you this fall, I hope more than anything you will use your love of dance to glorify the God who placed it in you when you were just a faint idea, a beautiful hope at the end of a long nine months.

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