Posted by: Rob | November 28, 2007

Soundtracking Your Life

My wife Ann wrote a blog piece a while back about music and its relationship to and description of her life at various points over the, well, course of her life. She called it “Soundtracking My Life“. I guess I can relate. Certain music pieces are forever associated with certain events and times in my life too. Sometimes the times were such that listening to those tunes can be a bit painful. Other times, the tunes can call up happy memories.

A couple of fairly recent examples, if I may:

I had started listening to some Coldplay in the last months before Shelley died. A couple of the more oft listened-to tunes were “Green Eyes” and “Warning Sign”; while the lyrics did not exactly fit the situation, I came to relate those songs closely with Shelley. Although I did not really think I would lose her as I did, I think subconsciously I knew it was possible. I listened to those tunes – a lot – in the weeks after Shelley’s passing. There were others that became my grieving tunes also: “Gone Away” by the Offspring, “Slipping Away” by Sum41, “Do You Realize?” by the Flaming Lips (thanks to Jordan for that one), “Heart Shaped Box” by Nirvana, “I Am Mine” by Pearl Jam (thanks to Cory for that one), and a few more from Sum41’s “Chuck” album. I actually created a CD entitled “Rob’s Melancholy Mix” with these tunes on them. Nowadays, I find it difficult to listen to any of these tunes plus a few others. Mostly because they can catapult me – emotionally – back to that time when Shelley was wasting away and eventually left me alone in this physical plane.

Tool. I had been aware of Tool…well, that Tool existed…since the ’90’s when my girls – first Farron and then Jordan – became fans. They had tried to “convert” me, but I resisted. At the time I didn’t give Tool a chance to prove that the music had redeeming qualities. In spite of the ravings of my then-teenagers. Then came the first Thanksgiving we had following Shelley’s passing. The three of us trekked up to my in-laws to spend Thanksgiving with Shelley’s family. “10,000 Days” had come out a little before that time and one of the kids had brought along a copy. We were listening to Farron’s CD’s mostly on the long drive up to the Peace River country and eventually “10,000 Days” made its way into the rotation. The stereo system in the old Avalanche was “pretty good” (6 speaker Bose) and we cranked it up. I liked it. I bought myself a copy of “10,000 Days” and listened to it day in and day out. The CD went with me on my healing road trip through November last year and it got a lot play during that month. When I returned home I went on-line to and ordered up the rest of the Tool CD releases plus all the releases of A Perfect Circle (Maynard James Keenan’s other project).

A Perfect Circle. The girls recommended “Mer de Noms” but I found that I really liked “Thirteenth Step”. I listened to that CD a lot in the early months of this year. The time I associate most with these tunes is the weekend I met Ann for the first time in person. That was in Idaho Falls, Idaho during a wintry February weekend. The CD was in the player and we listened to it during the times we drove around during that weekend. I mostly remember the drive out to Menan and back; we went out to Menan to visit my friends Tee and Dee. I wanted Tee, especially, to meet Ann.

And so as it happens I was listening to “Thirteenth Step” this afternoon and in an idle moment I was transported back to those first days with Ann. When we started to really get to know one another. And when we basked in the natural feeling of being together. And feeling that we somehow knew each other. A feeling of being comfortable.

And I was compelled to write it down.

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