A month or so ago, I received an email (private Facebook message more likely) from the husband of my Aunts sister (yeah, a strange connection for sure). In it, he mentioned my love of vinyl, and that he had decided to part with his collection of records from the 70’s and early 80’s.
In my dreams, I saw stacks of records, maybe hundreds of albums from an era of music that always reminds me of being a boy, sitting in front of my fathers expansive and quirky collection, headphones on, expanding my musical knowledge. I assumed everyone who actually still owned records would own many. Any casual collector would have dumped their albums at a thrift store years ago.
I wasn’t naive enough to believe that every record would be a treasure. Musical taste is perhaps the most subjective part of a human personality, and while I knew this man some, his musical preferences were a mystery.
I arrived at his place and followed him down into the basement. He was moving, downsizing, and the records were not something he wanted to bring along to the new place.
In the only unfinished room in the basement, was a solitary box of records, maybe 70, tucked away in the dark and the dust. A bit saddened, I began to thumb through them. Most of the collection was smooth jazz, beat down Beatles records, obscure Christmas collections. Kids albums with silly songs instead of albums from Bowie or Springsteen stared back at me. I admit, I was disappointed.
Once I got home and really sorted them, I found a few amazing pieces, a copy of Dark Side of the Moon, Simon and Garfunkel, some interesting classical albums, as well as other records I had forgotten existed. I gave them all a good bath (they were wicked dusty), then sorted them into piles I would be keeping and those that I would be selling or giving away. In the end I kept close to 20.
I just finished listening to Bridge over Troubled Water again. Next, I’ll listen to some Cream, or maybe something by Count Basie.
I am grateful for the gift this man offered me. My initial disappointment has been replaced with gratitude at the chance to get to know another person through their musical taste, and by a connection to some of the music of my childhood; a connection only possible through the all too familiar hiss and pop of old records.
I wish I were in New York City-
That is not to say I am unhappy here, in my house with my family, my music and books. I have learned that location, while sometimes somewhat relevant, should not adversely affect my joy. I choose how I respond, what I allow to distract me. Today, this photo distracts.
It reminds me of the thrill I get while walking those streets- The mass of humanity, the isolation I can feel in the middle of millions of people, juxtaposed with an intimate connection to everything around me.
I know so little of it, and could easily find myself hopelessly lost at any given moment. I’ve seen only a small amount of what this city has to offer, its horrors as well as its pleasures. It should frighten me more than it does.
I have other things to do today, words to write and read, people I should connect with, but I am transfixed, held in place, almost dizzy with wanting to be someplace else.
We could walk the streets together, one arm around the other, holding on, coupled, eyes up, hearts locked, until our bodies ache, and our legs refuse to carry us one step farther. We would want more. We would always want more.
A rough month, capped off by the sudden passing of my father in law. The family is bonding together, relying on each other, and finding strength in our common bond. I am lucky in that manner, blessed with great family.
Understandably, I am not thinking too much about writing successes or insecurities at the moment. I apologize to anyone who stops by this month only to find this. I will be back at it soon, and will offer a IWSG post next month. Until then, reach out to those you love and let them know it. None of us are guaranteed one more moment. Savor them all, and love those who fill your lives.