Music is fracturing. I didn’t realize that for a long time. I thought you were supposed to hear music and experience the memory version of lucid dreaming.
It wasn’t until high school that I began to suspect others had a different sort of relationship to music. It is- and this is my theory- intended to evoke feelings or maybe sometimes it tells a story or you connect with the lyrics. Probably it’s more of a feeling thing. I never have the intended reaction.
Music summons memory. And I don’t mean that I recall feelings or memories from around the time that I first listened to a song. I don’t know what I mean, really. This should probably be one of those wordless things. And yet.
Music seems to activate memory fragments at random. Vivid fragments that have no apparent connection to any aspect of the song. The notes proceed and I am in that memory. The intensity of the recall papers over the real world and I absorb in that fragment from the past.
It’s almost never an interesting memory. These are stray moments…mundane activities, verbal pauses, lost conversations about nothing.
Music, subjectively: I think of rings within a tree, growth marks that expand outward over time and I think my mind has a similar build. My mind is layers of sensory resin that slowly, densely accrue one over the other. The older ones, the deeper ones, are gone and forgotten…unless a song evokes them, through some kind of obscure and circuitous pass through the weird tumblers that open up lost time.
And then you are not in your regular, daily world anymore…you are through the lock and lucidly dreaming your own past. Every song a different memory, apropos of nothing.
It’s not music, it is hallucination. Maybe. Maybe it’s something else. I tend to magpie together my own theories.
Songs overtake me. I have to plan to listen to music. I have to set aside time and close curtains and mentally brace myself.
I mentioned high school because that’s when I started driving around with friends and it was startling to realize that most people get in their vehicle and immediately turn on music.
That fact impressed me at first. I assumed everyone was having experiences like mine, so to hop into a car and play music, I thought these were very brave souls. Driving with a mind full of hyper-lucid memories…for a time there, I thought, “Wow, these are true mental explorers. And dangerous. These people are dangerous!”
Eventually, I grasped that folks just feel nice when music is playing. It’s pleasant for them. A diversion, but not of the unsafe, world-occluding variety. They can listen to music and drive or socialize or flip pancakes. It’s an okay thing to do.
Except it fractures you.
Music isn’t music, really. Music is you haunting yourself. It’s sensory resin and weird tumblers in a lock that never stops turning, yet never opens.