My soul is made of dots and lines
Driving into work in the morning is my favourite time of day. It’s when I haven’t started stressing over work , haven’t had to deal with anyone yet, and just recently came from a good bye hug from my sweet Colt (he won’t let me leave in morning without some love – it makes my entire life worth living, that boy and his amazing heart). I always listen to music in my car. If you’ve read my blog for long you’ll know that music is most secure and trustworthy connection I have to myself and my emotions.
The PTSD symptoms I carry with me are probably more severe than I let on here because I make an enormous effort to try to live around them and not let them become the centre focus of my world. I’ve found that paying close attention to anything can make it double in size and intensity every day until I’m so overwhelmed I can barely function. I do tend to operate from a place of detachment from my feelings and from the present in a lot of cases and I’ve done this so long it has become an automatic state of being. It’s why I can walk away from pretty much anything without a huge emotional upheaval or carry on luggage full of regrets to drag with me for the rest of my life. It’s not entirely healthy, living this way, but it does allow me the breathing room to keep my focus on the things that keep me moving forward rather than pull me into the past. Particularly now, at 40, I’m in a place where the really hard part of my life was half a lifetime ago. 0-20 was pretty much a daily fight to stay alive. 20-40 was in incredible mess of pulling myself out of the past 20 years. Now…? Well, it’s so far behind me and I have the wisdom and experience to see that the next 20 could play out so much better, now that I’ve experienced the trauma, waded through it all memory by memory, and come out the other side. That’s exactly what it feels like…Like I’ve just come out the other side still all in one piece and wiser for the experience. Suddenly, being 40 feels more like a blessing than a curse. I actually like 40 year old Grainne. 🙂
The music though. The one thing that I have never been able to resist, is the snapping-into-present-moment-flooding-with-emotion reaction I have when I write, create, sing, or listen to music. I cannot remain impartial….not in the least. The lines of music take up residence in my body and the notes move through me; the drum becomes my heartbeat, the strings are the blood rushing through my veins, the bass is the round, solid pit of heat in my stomach that needs to move up, up, up and out through my voice as I sing the feelings out of me in ways I simply cannot with words, laughter or tears. I can’t just ‘listen’ to a song, I instantly separate every instrument into its own, neat line, and watch the notes appear on a piece of music in my mind, the lines lying clean ahead but filling with the notes and tones as the sound plays. I watch key changes and love (love is the wrong word entirely, but cannot think of another more appropriate) to see the individual lines of music dip and cross over the others as the notes fly up and down the scales.
I can write music without actually playing or hearing it….a talent I discovered in the arts high school I attended. My class would go up to the keyboard lab where there were rows of keyboards with headsets attached to the main board up front at the teacher’s desk. The teacher would patch into your headset and listen to what you were playing throughout the class and offer help or direction from where she sat. (I always jumped out of my chair when she popped into my headset – I was never ready for it and would spend the entire class on edge, waiting for the burst of static that announced her). All of the kids would have a blank sheet of music on their desk and would play a few things on the keyboard, pause, scribble down the notes, play a bit more, pause, scribble, play it all together, pause, rearrange, play, pause, scribble, pause, play…. it seemed a rather tedious way of writing the simple songs we were being asked to produce. I would leave my keyboard off and sit with my blank page, dream up the notes and write them all down as if I were writing a diary entry, all in one long continuous motion. Afterwards, I’d add and shift…edit, really, what I had written and then I would play it as if it were a new piece of music someone else wrote. My vocal teacher hated me and the fact that I could do that made the nastiness every more vehement. She had a terrible time reading music and told me it was because she was dyslexic. I never bothered to look it up but it seemed odd to me since reading music does not involve many letters and, really, a whole note is a whole note no matter which way it is facing….but, I didn’t care to challenger her on it.
It’s cool to know I can still do that even though I’ve not written a piece of music on paper for years now…it’s always been in my head so I guess it will always remain. I do love seeing music that way because it’s another angle…another way to take it in and feel it moving around inside you.
I would play music around me constantly but I it is so emotionally and involving that I find it too distracting when I need to multi-task. …uhh…like now. I’ve been at work for two hours now and I’m just barely getting started. (Where the hell did that time go?!)
Okay – back to dry, boring, audits and stats. (sigh)