30 March, 2008

Perfect Ratio

With snow yet again on the ground, it's sometimes difficult to imagine spring at all (although I did a pretty stellar job imagining yesterday while driving with my windows down, on the highway, in a t-shirt. Yeah, I'll be lucky if I don't get pneumonia.) For what it's worth (and it's worth quite a lot), the sun still shines and the skies are blue, but what I really want now is a few flowers and that intoxicating smell of rich, wet dirt. You readers who live in warmer climes may call me a creature of simple pleasures, but the psychological difference between a pile of dirty snow and a pile of living dirt ready for plants is basically off the charts in my mind.

Until I start to see some little, green shoots, I can put myself in that positive place with music. I've already started playing Bollywood/Bhangra as my background music. The Allman Brothers, Bob Marley, Brandi Carlile, and warmer Dire Straits music wafts into my ears and melodically unlocks that secret place in my mind where I store extra sunshine. Of course, depending on what kind of person you are and where your musical tastes lean, you're going to have different "springtide" (thanks for the neologism ICL) hits in mind. I'm attracted to a certain perfect ratio of melody, rhythm, and lyrical intelligence that probably manifests itself in ways other music-lovers would find boring or unsophisticated.

At the end of the day, when I'm feeling down, I need a good dose of pop spirit, the soothing/spinning melodies of jam bands, and the positive realism of lyrics by artists like Marley and Carlile to get me on my feet again. Like fingerprints, I think the music that's linked to happiness is different for every person, and even when you overlap with someone, it's often for different reasons. The most important thing to remember is that music can put you in a good place, even as the snow keeps piling up in your backyard.

No comments: