I have never lost a close friend or relative, so I don’t feel qualified to comment on the grief that is instilled into the hearts of those who have. However, there is a grief that is stirred in anyone who hears stories like those that have arisen from Newton, Connecticut, or Clackamas, Oregon, or Aurora, Colorado. This resonating grief is common to every person. With it come confusion, anger, and a longing for peace and healing.
Bear with me as I reflect and stumble through some thoughts.
“You Can Only Live Once” by the Strokes: the springs of 7th and 8th grade
The rest of the album First Impressions of Earth by the Strokes: the winters of 9th and 10th grade
Supertramp and Abba: doing chores and making up dumb little dances with my sister in the old brick house in Manchester, NH.
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2: my family’s trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico for spring break of 7th grade.
“Fall Creek Boys Choir” by James Blake and Bon Iver: goofing off with my Blacber in our dorm room last year.
21 by Adele and the Ladder by Andrew Belle: Homework late at night during my senior year of high school.
the National: many things, mainly the more depressing parts of the last few years.
the Goat Rodeo Sessions: Mapping out essays on white boards with Brian last year.
Our brains link noise to memories. For me, it has come to the point where most of the music I like is already claimed by a specific memory or feeling. “I’m sentimental if you know what I mean,” says Leonard Cohen in “Democracy,” but let’s not even go there.
X & Y by Coldplay: flying to Seattle for the first time.
The Silversun Pickups: turning any summer car ride into a joy ride through Western Michigan.
It used to be that I would just know what to listen to, but now, not always. I need to start listening to new music.