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Memories light the corners of my mind …”

If you can name that tune without checking the link, I’m sorry.

Music has always affected my mood and so I am always careful to make sure I’m not listening to “Bodies” when I need to interact with the general public. It’s for my safety as well as yours. When I’m in the car, I channel hop because my car is so old it doesn’t have a CD player. I believe there is a cassette player, but who has cassettes anymore?  It makes me sad to realize that I may have a reader or two who is now wondering what a cassette is.

Right. Anyway. I listen to all kinds of music. I like alternative, pop, a little (very little) country, R&B and of course, good old rock-n-roll.  I’ve even been known to head bang along to some metal bands. There are a few songs that evoke deep emotion in me. It’s not necessarily a memory, exactly, but it reminds me of certain periods of my life.

In the right context, especially if I’m already feeling sad or mournful, the guitar solos in Free Bird and November Rain can bring me to my emotional knees. I know as much about music as I do about art, which is to say, I only know what moves my own soul – or feet, as the case may be.  If I need a lift, I can’t go wrong with anything by Prince.  His music just has so much energy that it is impossible for me to be unaffected.

As with any rule, there is an exception to the Prince rule. When I hear Purple Rain, I can’t help but think of K.  (I just searched the entire 11 years of my blog and only found two entries that sort of explain the situation). That song reminded me of her in so many ways – I’d think about the laughter we shared, all the long conversations we had, emails, texts – the works. It made me unbearably sad because I thought what happened was my fault and I couldn’t fix it. Eventually I came to understand that A) not everything can be fixed and B) this particular situation wasn’t mine to fix anyway.

K disappeared from my life over a decade ago. And in those years, many things have changed including my perception of that song. As humans, we can only change our own thoughts, our own ideas, our own actions. Maybe it’s possible to influence others, but I believe that real change always begins within.

When I hear Purple Rain now, it makes me smile. I think of the past with a kind of benevolent fondness for the person I used to be. Those days with K are a memory now – nothing more, nothing less.

Sometimes I wonder what (or who) Prince was singing about. But with music (and art, or books, or poetry), what the artist intends with a piece can be vastly different from what people take away from it. And that’s okay. That’s what art is – the affect on the individual looking at a painting, hearing a song, or reading a book.  It’s all subjective.

However, I still say that the guitar solo in Purple Rain is beautiful and haunting. If you don’t agree, you’re just wrong.*

*I’m kidding. Probably.