Monday, October 26, 2009

Musical Memory Lane

As most know, I love music. All kinds. Most genres. Love it. I believe strongly in the power and influence of music, for both good and bad. Different bands and songs bring me to different memories and times in my life. It's been interesting to be here in Africa reminiscing of some of these times. It's like being a world away from these long ago memories...of which, I am. Some specifics for you...

Last week, I took a random last minute trip to Jinja, the town where the source of the Nile is, to see a couple friends there. It was my first time experiencing the public bus system here. I rode down with my friend Lori but rode back to Kampala the next day alone. I had brought my roomie's iPod (mine is in the States getting fixed) to keep me company while I rode. I flipped the iPod to Jack Johnson. Oh...Jack. The familiar songs, the calming strums of the guitar. It's the kind of music that takes you to a quiet beach or reading inside on a rainy day, all cozy on a comfortable couch.

Let me describe the situation for you. It had been pouring all day in Jinja. I was carrying this large painting with me that I had bought there. I was sitting in the last row of the bus in order not to be a nuisance with my ridiculously large painting. There were apparently holes in the roof by my head as dirty brown drops of water would hit me in different places throughout the ride. Since I was in the back, every pothole and speed bump (which since we're talking about Africa here, was A LOT) thrusted me out of my seat usually causing a "huuuah" to come out of my mouth. As we flew past fields of banana trees, naked children running alongside the road, shacks selling various items and the wide open space of the countryside, I often had to blink a few times to take me back to this world.

On Thursday, we had a day off from field meetings. Oh, there is just no way to tell you how exhausting those meetings were and how much a day off was needed! Since it was two days before my birthday, all three of us roomies celebrated by going to a local pool to lay out and swim. My standard laying out by the pool music is David Gray. I think it started on a spring break (which since we were all full time workers, it was more of a vacation days break) where Jill, Julie and I headed down to Clearwater, FL to spend some time in the sun and have fun. It was a memorable trip with so much fun had by all of us! I remember laying by the pool and by the beach there, relaxing to David Gray. Since then, it's been more of a tradition that I always listen to his "White Ladder" album when I lay out. Always. It's no different no matter what continent I'm in. That morning, I had the Beach Boys in my head. With the sunny day and a cloudless sky, "Fun Fun Fun" was in my head all morning. I started out by listening to them, tapping my toes to the tunes. I truly believe that everyone should start listening to Beach Boys while they are in California. It just fits. I remember being with my family in Monterey, CA as we drove around seeing the amazing views, stopping at Pebble Beach and eating by the shore. With my brother living in CA, there's been numerous visits to the state making it one of my favorite places to go. Listening to Beach Boys always takes me back to Monterey though. The Beach Boys were listened to first...but then I went to my staple David Gray.

Laying out in Africa was a new one for many reasons. First, the pool was right by this conference room where men in suits and women in skirts were having a serious meeting. I had my iPod on so I wasn't fully listening but it was something about children dying. And there we were, in our swimsuits, laying out. I KNOW. It was weird...and semi-awkward...ok, really awkward..especially when they took a break and were walking around the pool their business suits...with us in our swimsuits. Nothing like yanking someone's mind out of Monterey, CA with that awkward situation.

So, I'm making new memories with my musical memories. What's your musical memory lane like?

No comments: