Walter Mencken 9 a.m., Oct. 1
Washes the Dust
Each of us has a soundtrack to our life.
There are certain pieces of music that, when we hear them, can take us right back to a specific event. Not only does the music bring back the memory it also brings back the entire mood, sometimes so strongly that we can almost be reliving the experience.
Much of my soundtrack has been classical but that's not the music I grew up with. Anytime I hear a Carpenters' song, I'm nine years old again and my family is on vacation in Point Loma. We stayed in one of the dorms on the Point Loma Nazarene Campus. "Why do birds suddenly appear..." and I can smell the dorm room and see the late afternoon light creeping through the closed blinds and feel the heat radiating off my skin as I lay on the bed after a full day at Ocean Beach.
Music has this power. I don't understand it but it is there.
If I listen to the slow movement of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, it's the summer after I graduated high school and in a few weeks I'll be headed to boot camp for the USMC. However, I'm at The Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon. The venue is outdoors surrounded by pine trees and as that horn solo opens the slow movement, a full, summer moon begins to rise as dusk settles across the Siskiyou Mountains. All those subtle colors come back to me as Tchaikovsky's music washes the dust off of my soul.
I will avoid the temptation to get on a soap box and urge us to choose music that is worthy of staying with us for a lifetime. We cherish the music that accompanies us on our journey and that is enough.