I went shopping at Walmart last week and went through the Garden Department. The Garden Department is host to bicycles, gardening tools and now pre-lit Christmas trees. So, it’s not quite Thanksgiving, but the trees are illuminated and the decorations are getting set up. I guess that means we’re skipping holidays?
It made me sad to see the Christmas lights going up.
It means the year is almost over. It means that time has passed by. I’m another year older… and I still don’t feel any wiser. But I guess this “wiser” is something that is perceived by the viewer. But I am at the: What have I accomplished? What have I done with my life? What have I achieved? Why does it all matter?
I can answer the what’s, but it’s the why I struggle with.
Why does it matter?
I have been thinking about this question since I started writing this post.
We live in a world where people define themselves by their accomplishments. Getting married, having children, having that job of all jobs… I used to think that “accomplishments” like these were what defined me. My boyfriend snapped me out of it and taught me that things like that don’t define who I am.
This year I have had many accomplishments… I graduated from college, I began a new career, I have made steps to better my health. These accomplishments may be outside of the social norm, but that social norm seems a tad antiquated.
There was a time when women were expected to marry and have children, but that was how life was in that time. I have heard stories of those women going crazy, in a time when psychological disorders were misunderstood, and they poisoned their entire families. In that time, it was necessary to have children and a family because that was how you worked your farm. Today, things are different.
I think that the social norm that a woman is expected to be married with children by the age of 40 is old fashioned and over rated. As my ex husband used to say, “People our age are either having children or getting divorced.” Perhaps, this is all due the antiquated societal way thinking.
People get married trying to produce that fabulous family of 2.5 children and those marriages are rushed. Those children are had trying to fill that ingrained need to be fruitful and multiply. I think that this is not the best thing for our society. So many of those marriages end in divorce with children going between the parents. I, also, think that even in today’s world there are women who have children and do not want them.
I had two huge problems with having children with my ex-husband. One of the problems was knowing good and well I would have to fund the child on my own, because he was not to be bothered with helping take care of the financial strains of our dog’s ailments. The second was that I was afraid that once I had my children I would resent them and not want them.
I think that if I had had a child with him I would have loved it from the start and done anything for it like I did for my dog. I know that now from how I am with my boyfriend’s children.
Christmas is the sign of the end of another year. Don’t let society dictate what your life’s accomplishments should be and measure your accomplishments by what defines who you are as a person. Find what makes you happy and grow that. Don’t be afraid of being a social Praia, because you are you and that is more important that anything society has to say.
Crank it? Or Spank it?
As a child of the original MTV age, I remember when there were music videos and a VJ (Video Jockey) coined “Crank it” over a newly released video. All of the viewers instantly feel in with the newly coined term, which lead to an interactive TV show on MTV where videos were played and the viewer could call to vote on whether to “crank it” or “spank it”. Crank it, meant that you loved it and wanted more… Spank it, well you get the idea.
Today, you turn on MTV and there isn’t much music on that channel. If you want a music, defer yourself to Google or its subsidiary YouTube. Even though this channel has lost its identity in the daily grind and in the modern culture, music will never lose its place with the human mind, soul or heart.
Music and Memory
Music stimulates memories for a lot of people. Certain songs can transport me to different times in my lives and and places, places being where I was in my life journey. Some songs make me smile, some make me cry and some make me feel like I can take over the world or do anything.
The human mind is a very complex and as much as it has been studied about it, there is still a lot of unknowns. The article “Why does music evoke memories” published by Tiffany Jenkins in October 2014 covers the work of David C. Rubin in his book “Memory in Oral Traditions”. It discusses how the areas of the brain and how they are involved when it comes to oral memory. Music helps to bring back memories by offering rhythms to help retrieve memories.
“A large part of memory takes place in the unconscious mind” Robert Snyder, a composer and chair of the sound programme at the Art Institute of Chicago, tells me. “There are aspects of memory that are remembered implicity, that is, outside of consciousness”. What’s more, he says, “implicit memory systems involve different parts of the brain than explicit memory systems”. It is the explicit memory systems that are damaged by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Implicit systems are robust in comparison. Snyder explains that “things that can affect us from outside of consciousness are often regarded as powerful”. In other words, implicit memory is emotional as well as durable. – Tiffany Jenkins, Why does music evoke memories?, 2014
Music helps make powerful memories. This is why some songs will make you smile, some cry or some help you break through that emotional wall that you feel trapped behind. Sometimes the most simple of songs can help you find your way through.
Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with what they believe to be a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.Shamanism – wiki
There are many ethnic groups across the globe that have religions that involve Shamans. Shamans are respected in these cultures, but live away from the populous. They live away from people, because they are considered to be empathetic sensitives, which means that they can sense and feel the emotions of the others around them.
Shamans gain knowledge and the power to heal by entering the spiritual world or dimension. This travel is accomplished by some with the use of music.
The website Shaman’s Way discusses the world of the Shaman and how they go through the journey. The key to a successful journey is music.
Music is used to help the Shaman to enter the trance required to travel to the other world and to help bring them back to this world. If music is strong enough to help a soul transcend into another realm and back, then it’s strong enough to carry you through your own journey.
Dust off those records
Modern musicians have helped bring back vinyl. Jack White released an album called Lazertto on vinyl only to begin with. Other artists soon followed with vinyl releases. Now, older albums are being digitally remastered and re-released on vinyl.
Amazon and eBay offer sales of classic albums on the original vinyl to purchase, plus the release of modern record players now gives people the ability to make their vinyl records digital. This technology has allowed me to travel back to childhood memories of listening to my mother’s Alabama record and her Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack. Happy memories of playing old Disney records she brought back from Disneyland when she went as a child. Plus, the memories of the books on record I had as a kid.
I have gotten some newer records from newer artists and have found the experience to be phenomenal. So, if you have some old records… dust them off and play them again. Take a chance and take a journey.
David Allan Coe is a bit of a controversial signer and song writer, because he chooses to not to worry about what is politically correct. I bring him up, but it’s not to discuss his political views and/or beliefs. I bring him up, because of a song he wrote called “The Ride”.
The song is about a young country singer starting on his journey from Alabama to Nashville. The young man is thumbing for a ride when a mysterious antique Cadillac. The man tells him that it’s a long walk to Nashville and asks if he would like a ride. The young man enters the car and begins his journey and gets the best advice a young country music singer could ever ask for from one of the greatest singers in country music history, Hank Williams.
To listen to the song: DAVID ALLAN COE ( The Ride ) – Live Recording