I sat listening to the radio as another song waxed poetic about the broken girl holding it together because she’s got “me” (it was Mark McKinney “Sunshine” which is one of his best FYI) my mind wandered off and this time I didn’t rein it back in. I started thinking about music and songwriting and how it’s shaped my life. In particular my love life.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I still believe in fairytales. I still believe in forever love like Johnny and June. I still believe my prince with a white van as his steed is out there somewhere. What I had never pondered was how much growing up with music as such a huge part of every fiber of my being would affect me as I started to fall in and out and in and out of love.
My first boyfriend at 15 was the artistic type. He was older than me and he was constantly writing me songs or poems or drawing me pictures. I ate it up. That’s the way to pull on my heart strings to this day; homemade, heartfelt or genuine and I’m yours. So I became accustomed to this certain level of open expression when it came to love and I don’t think I ever let that go.
I’ve always been one to insert myself in to songs and empathetically feel what either the writer or the subject is going through. In particular when the song hits close to home I will hold on to the lyrics for many, many years. Lyrics and songs have always been my bible. I turn to for salvation and scripture in good times and in bad. As I grew and eventually became heavily involved with a touring musician I found that salvation in his music. The same wide-eyed gaze over a one-chord song I had at 15 and almost 10 years later, I was hooked from day one.
We eventually split up and now years later I’ve had another epiphany. We live in a world of right here and now, computers, texts, cellphones, Facebook; no one can dispute that fact. That type of genuine artistic romance is hard to come by. Just like the movies, the glass slipper and the white horse, music isn’t real life. It’s ABOUT real life and it can connect you to people in a way like nothing else ever could, but it’s not YOUR life.
It takes a special individual to write and play and expose their raw heart and head like many of my favorite artists do. That’s something to be celebrated and applauded. Something to be thankful for in our hyper-cyber world. It may have broken me romantically, but it lifts me up emotionally and that is something I will never forget to appreciate.