That's what I'm listening to right now as I sit and type this after a long couple of weeks. "The Iris of the World" by Bruce Cockburn. My husband Noel introduced me to Bruce Cockburn, who I had never really heard of, aside from being the dude from the 80's that made the Bare Naked Ladies famous. Noel has introduced me to more interesting music in the past three years than anyone I've thus far had the pleasure to know. He isn't loyal to any specific genre or era, rather, he sees beauty and skilled craftsmanship in things that, until now, I had only listened to with closed ears. (ie: I've never been a fan of classic rock and had completely written off Pink Floyd until watching the Dark Side of Oz with him.) He hears music for music and he's helped me listen to music like it's something that was just created yesterday.
Music shaped him. It shaped us separately and as a couple. It has worn a meandering and deeply-carved path through our lives as they've continued to entwine over the years. When we lived apart, in 2 different countries, during the hot, passionate, longing, newly-formed-star of our relationship, Noel would send me lyrics. I knew that he was trying to say something that he couldn't articulate any other way. I gratefully received those words and felt this thread in my core pulling me into loving him. To being in love with him.
His musical taste was (and still is) confusing and totally different than what I'm used to. We have some overlap with similar likes and dislikes, but his taste goes far and wide where mine is pretty linear and defined. I have a long-running and deep-seeded relationship with Jazz but also have a complex relationship with the indie hipster world of "new music." We're both percussionists, which connected us at first. When I first met him I totally misjudged him by his eccentric appearance and age and grouped him in with the Hipsters. Now that I know him I know that Slim Gaillard's "Chicken Rhythm" impresses him more than Pavement's "Shady Lane." One day he'd send me the lyrics to some mysterious, deep song and the next day it would be "Venus as a Boy"- such a playful and sexy song! My heart skipped a proverbial and literal beat. My knees went weak. My pulse raced. I would drive and drive and listen to Kurt Elling's homage to John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, "Dedicated to You", and let the sheer force of new love fill me, leaving no room for the pain and sadness that formed the undercurrent of my life during those first days.
I feel like I wasted a lot of my life trying to keep myself in
this confined understanding of what the world is or should be. To
listen through my judgement and stay open to an experience, that was
something that came with growing up. I once worked with a guy who said
that he never listened to music for emotional impetus. It seemed like
such a foreign and grown-up thing to say. I never fully understood that.
Now that I'm an adult I gather that he was most likely using the mask
of postmodern detachment to protect himself from being hurt.
What I love about Noel's love of music is that it has paved the way for my ears to open up to the present. He finds deep joy in music and loves listening to joyous music. It's a liberating feeling to allow one's self to experience joy! I grew up in the jaded Goth/Grunge days when the more demotivated and bored you were, the cooler you were. Joy isn't something I felt comfortable with. It seemed too sappy, too gluttonous, too naive. Siouxsie Sioux wasn't happy, and dammit, neither was I. As I've aged, grown wiser, gotten happier, I've let the joy start to seep into the cracks in my life. Music is a great vehicle for that. EnJOY!!!