Music: Ghosts and Memories


When everything else is gone, music remains. So with that understanding, music is everything.  When you listen for it, it’s everywhere.

It’s the sound of a heavy celluloid guitar pick against the fresh 80/20 phosphor-bronze acoustic strings or the flesh on your thumb when you lose your pick inside the soundhole of your guitar.

It’s the sounds of little kids outside playing, between the ages of 3 thru 6 before they become bossy little assholes and the sound of the empty playground when they’re gone.

It’s the sound of a water fountain in a beautiful park.  Peaceful and serene.

It’s the sound of pure joy and happiness when you’re with your sweetheart and that little laugh she does that makes your heart sing.  The way her pretty hand lays next to her face when she’s not even thinking about it…

It’s the sound of the crickets & bugs and the snapping of burning logs when you’re sitting around a firepit next to the lake when the sun is setting on a hot summer day, especially when your jeans smell like smoke.img-20160701-wa0008_modified

It’s the sound of a heavy, cold rain on a dark day when you feel the lowest of the low.  The lightning crackling and the deep boom of thunder in a purple sky.

It’s the sound of an old pump organ and old voices singing forgotten songs in a prairie church.

It’s that sound walking through a cemetery when the wind blows through the old trees, still full of leaves, rustling and applauding the breeze.

It’s the sound of the tall old tree, dried out with age and time creaking out it’s ancient song.

It’s the sound of the bottom of the plastic shovel scrapping against the driveway full of wet, heavy snow.

It’s the sound of finding a cassette tape of your grandparents telling Norwegian jokes about Ole & Lena and their friend Sven in the basement you forgot about and hadn’t heard in a long time.

It’s the sound of hurt and hurting. It’s the heartbreaking sound of Ashokan Farewell when you’re left broken and you question your own self-worth.

Music is everywhere.  It’s the daily soundtrack.  Music is memories and in many ways music is really all I have left.  People come and go.  Friends, family, lovers and liars.  People will lift you up and let you down.  Not music.  Music can be and often is just as powerful today as it was when it was recorded years ago.  Timeless and ageless.

When I close my eyes I can still see the light come on in the back of my grandpa’s trailer on Little Bear Road and see the shadow on the wall as he would pick up and tune his Sigma Martin guitar and strum a D chord up and down the neck.  It’s still clear to me and I can hear it each time I play a D chord myself.

In the end music lives on.  Long after we’re gone.  Long after I’m gone.

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