Last fall after a long season struggling with the heptathlon I was flying home from a lovely vacation and browsing through my options on the in-flight entertainment system. The movies and shows didn’t much appeal to me so I moved on to the music, where the long list of genres tied me up for a moment.
I am very intrigued by displays of organization, perhaps since I am most certainly not a naturally orderly person (I am working on it!). Some objects very clearly have a home in a certain box or on a shelf, but my problem lies in the many other objects – those that cross boundaries and have multiple purposes and characteristics. Too many things simply demand new categories altogether – and I only have so many boxes and shelves! Leave it to the jock/band nerd/science geek/art lover to have this conundrum. Seeing the list of musical genres on the plane got me thinking about the person who decides which songs belong in which category, and how in the heck they do the deciding. Some songs follow guidelines nearly perfectly, but what about the others??!
In any case, I selected the New Age genre, curious to see what kind of music would be categorized here. Among the long list of artists, Gandalf caught my eye. Half expecting to hear the Lord of the Rings’ wizard singing, I pushed play, leaned back, closed my eyes, and settled down for a listen.
The beautifully calm tones and gentle percussion set my mind along a gentle hike on some faraway mountain. I thought about track, and it’s role in my identity. I thought about what I wanted to accomplish and who I wanted to be. I thought about some of the great memories I just formed alongside lovely people in beautiful Barbados.
Out of nowhere I felt such intense emotion – hope, joy, love – and my eyes began to leak. I was weeping liquid happiness!! Finding my cheeks wet with tears made me even more emotional, and I just gave in and wallowed contentedly in my joy, like a hippo in mud. After some time I sat up a little and opened my eyes, my lashes soaked and a foolish grin on my lips. I scrolled back a little in the playlist, hoping to pinpoint where exactly this musical journey went so right. But alas we were landing and I was asked to remove my non-earbud style headphones.
The next day I listened to an online playlist of Gandalf’s songs while I worked and it wasn’t long before the weeping resumed. The moment when the instruments finally come together and align with the song’s theme just strikes a chord with me!
I’ve included the Gandalf Dreamweaver playlist below. My weep-song, Into the Rising Sun, is the first in the playlist with a short Part One followed by the more dramatic Part Two.
Have a listen (and maybe a weep?)!