Not so much savage, more like ravaged.
Have you ever had a day when you just felt, for lack of a better word, fragile?
I had one of those days a couple weeks ago. Preceded by an emotional roller coaster the day before, I began this particular day uber-sensitive to everything and everyone. I couldn’t stand the talking heads on my podcast list. Voices of coworkers grated on my nerves. Even music was annoying.
Those lyrics, those words, trying to tell me what happened to someone else , somewhere else, at a time when I wasn’t there? Forget about ’em. Because that’s what songs, at least the good ones, do: they tell stories, they paint pictures and those pictures are populated with people and emotions and all manner of things to evoke an emotional response. Happy. Sad. Angry. Lonely. Loving. Dreaming.
I wanted no part of them.
But silence is deafening. Silence gives my mind way too much leeway to ramble in circles around what’s bugging me or what I “should” be doing or feeling or–do you see the pattern here?
If music paints a picture and lyrics populate it like a busy city, what I needed was a landscape.
Enter Pandora.com. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s one of many Internet music services out there. This one uses the music genome project that classifies songs, albums and artists under a variety of criteria so that when you tell it “I like this song by REM” it shuffles through and picks other songs with things in common. You create a station by seeding it with songs or artists and then offer feedback by giving the songs you like (for that station) a thumbs up, and those you don’t a thumbs down. Fairly simple.
For this particular day (okay, it lasted a few days, actually) I cocooned myself in a mix of New Agey sounds of piano and guitar. No vocal music unless it was mostly indecipherable (meaning I let some Enya in, but not much). It’s a small step, but it helped. The music helped settle some of the inner turmoil and allowed me to get on with my work and come back to my usual personality in a much gentler fashion.
If you’re having one of those days, I’m happy to share my Gentle Days Station with you.