Country music is better in the summer. Nine months of the year I can take or leave most of it, but those country singers…they get southern summers. My latest poison: Springsteen by Eric Church. It’s not new, but it tickles just the right spot every time. I’ve always connected music to situations, and when he says, “it’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory,” he has me. He has me bbecause it is so true. When certain songs come on, they’ll just rip my guts out, sometimes the good way and sometimes not so much.
I write about memories a lot…a whole lot. It’s not that I’m stuck in the past. I love my life right now. I have a great husband, unbelievable friends, and have just started a new business, but I bet I’ll understand the excitement about it all even more when I’m staring at it from a long way off one day. Maybe that’s just the writer in me that makes me go back…that and the music.
I think its ok though, going back. Someone is probably rolling their eyes right now thinking, “yeah she wouldn’t go back if she’d had my past.” I don’t really know if I would or not, but I do know mine hasn’t always been full of gummy bears and rainbows. But, I believe in the past. I believe in remembering it, looking at it from time to time, and letting it reveal you to yourself. I believe in the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. The problem comes when we forget to use the bad and ugly parts for good. Instead we torture ourselves trying to forget them, lie to others by saying they are forgotten, and spend way too many grueling hours trying to lie to ourselves. And that’s my soapbox on that…
However, this one isn’t about the bad memories, but about the yummy summertime kind…the kind country music understands best. This is about the kind of memory you’re embarrassed to admit you’re still in love with and laugh out loud about halfway embarrassed when your obnoxious friend brings it up at a dinner party. Go ahead and smile about it. Think back to that boy from out of town you skinny-dipped with three hours before you were supposed to show up for Sunday school. Let your mind go to those shorts you wore until they fell apart the Fall of your senior year…you know, those that would still be your favorite. Find that place where you got up the nerve to kiss a stranger for the first time. Go home tonight and cook dinner for your family, and make out the weekly bills, and thank God for the job you have tomorrow, but please, before your head hits the pillow, let a country song take you to some Neverland that never ages past the last few days of seventeen. Let it take you there and let yourself feel it until you squirm because it has you hooked like a worm right through the gut. And remember…Saturday is coming and it’s June-thirty. Don’t let it slip by today so the writer in you will love it all over again tomorrow whenever you hear some song you didn’t even know was playing at the time. It’s a great little surprise the song has for you, and you’re laying that soundtrack right now by pure accident. Even if you don’t think it’s country, and you live in the heart of Manhattan, it is country still. It’s always tears of happiness or sadness, with even the good things being a heartache if they’re real. The country songs just admit it all for us because raw is all they know, and know it more in summer. I love this time of year, and music it leaves behind that even the most bitter cold, furthest distance, or longest years cannot drown out…the summer soundtracks that perfume our lives with oohs, ahhs, laas, and nananas.