Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Inspirational Voodoo

No, not yet. Just a flashback photo from last summer, but soon ...

Is there something in the human brain that responds to the stimuli built into sappy, inspirational songs?

So, I’m driving home from class after a long day, flipping through the radio (because the thousand songs on my IPod aren’t enough,) and I hit on one of the – what? – five stations running De-lilahhhhh in the evening. Yes, She of the low, narcotic voice that brings the romantic, the maudlin, and the neurotic in droves (notice I did not say suicidal or psychotic. I don’t judge). Usually she’s murmuring to or about some lovelorn supplicant who has found their soul in the music or on a matchbook, and I can flip past, because she’s not talking to me.

But, tonight she stops murmuring, and plays this song called The Time of Your Life. Well, I’m driving down the highway and changing lanes, so I am slow to flip to the next, and just like that, some harmonic combination hooks into the reptilian vestige of my brain, and "Oh Please" turns to "Hey, that’s kind of …" without any sort of transition. I at least have enough brain activity left to realize that I’m nodding my head and smiling a silly smile. Great. Next I’ll be adding it to my blog (yeah – laugh it up, Monkey Children).

But I’m not bitter, just ridiculous.

Why do we need sappy, inspirational; tunes? Because, sometimes we need a life line. Sometimes, we let life pull us a little too low for our own good. And, sometimes we let life push us a little too high. And sometimes, it’s not life sending us to either extreme; we jut feel like sinking or soaring. And, that’s fine, until it goes on too long or too far. Then, we have a tendency to act up (or down), and that’s when all the trouble starts.

So we, or God, or the Mother, or the Daughter, plant all these interesting bits of stimuli in our path to keep us on an even keel. Maybe, it’s a song, a painting, a photo, or a poem. A slant of light, running water, warm sun after a long winter. A political sound byte, a religious sound byte, sex (good or bad), food, wine, and we’re back to song again.

Whatever. No really. Whatever.

So, thanks, Delilah. May your name be inscribed in some quiet, echo-y marble hall, where the goddesses are cool and where supplicants murmur your name in warm, round tones.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, lads and lassies. Be safe, 'cause there's three more days until Spring, and you don't want to miss that.


Janie said...

Are we using art to keep us sane, and keep us from slithering too far out of the trenches of the equivalent of the Buddhist Middle Way? Maybe so. For my part, I unashamedly love a good sappy song...

Carolyn said...

I just rented Dirty Dancing the other night and the best part of the movie is at the end when Patrick Swayze comes back for the last dance with Baby(Frances) and it is done to that song which Patrick Swayze sings. There is nothing like a good sapping song to give us hope, joy, warm fuzzies...like a walk in the woods in autumn or the smell of a wood fire. These are the things that ground and centre me.
Smiles and many sappy songs!

Carolyn said...

P.S. Fe...your posts always give me pause to stop and think...thank you :}

TRXTR said...

OK, Fe, so now people are actually commenting positively that you make them stop and think! Good for you...

People used to tell me that I said the most "thought-provoking" things, and I thought that was a compliment until I realized that they were just telling me that they were feeling provoked! Not good...

OK, next: "The time of your life..." Hmmmm... Is that the Bonnie Raitt song? NOT sappy, and sort of up your alley, I should think: about running away and getting it on with someone worth getting IT on with! Lyrics like: "let the neighbors talk about us, we're gonna have the time of our lives!" There's some coyote spirit in THAT song, girl!

Maybe not the one you heard... I don't listen to sap... Although I hear tell that folks in Vermont do, and that's a good thing for Spring and for maple syrup! HA!

Ishtar said...

You write: "Because, sometimes we need a life line. Sometimes, we let life pull us a little too low for our own good. And, sometimes we let life push us a little too high. And sometimes, it’s not life sending us to either extreme; we jut feel like sinking or soaring."

Been there, done that (haven't we all?). And while I was doing it I couldn't work out why.

Since my mother passed away, I've realised that I don't have to change my moods. I have happy days, cheerful days, worried days, sappy days, and days that I can't make out at all. Music gets me more than any other form of art, but I can never tell what is going to get me until I've already done the transition. But I don't mind. If there's one thing I've learned in life these past years, it's to embrace things as they are. I'll have sappy days, and I'll even enjoy them. I'll restless days, and I'll wonder what's to come? I'll have worried days, and I'll simply ask myself, where did I get off the track? And that'll be pretty much it. Most days are happy, cheerful and content. I love that! I love waking up in the morning and feeling anticipation for the little things. What little things are going to turn out positive and beautiful today? And what can I do for someone else today? After all, so many days are filled with an overflow and I can't just sit on all that joy myself, it has to be shared!

Warm greetings from Africa (and sending you lots of sunshine and a beautiful deep blue sky!),

rebecca said...

Time of Your Life...I'm thinking Green Day, which I happen to like....then there was another one I remember from the 70s from Paul Anka? I don't even know if that's him but I remember the lyrics. You need to say which it is now because I'm curious!

But bad sex? Really? Does anybody really want bad sex? Really? I don't know Fe, hands down, I'll tell you right now, I will pass on that stimuli....=)

CoyoteFe said...

You are deep! I am so glad you stop by! "... keep us from slithering too far out of the trenches of the equivalent of the Buddhist Middle Way?" Yes! And, stop encouraging my guilty pleasures! Ha!

Another one supporting sentimental, warm and fuzzies. We are hopeless! OK then. Best to embrace it, I suppose. We will have absolutely no street cred left. O well!

I think provoking IS a good thing! If nothing provokes a body then how do they know they're not just gathering dust in a corner? Of course, sometimes it's aggravating, but balance in all things! Knew I liked something about Vt! Ha! Off to find that Bonnie Raitt song ...

LOVE what you said about honoring your moods! Every thing that you write on your blog speaks of your openness to the world and the things that fill your heart. I think it's difficult - or at a minimum confusing - at times, to pay attention rather than get distracted, but your happiness is proof that you are in synch. Little things always lead me to the big things, if I let them! And, honor goes to your mother, for she not only launched a wonderful foundation where it matters, but contributed to the wide open spirit in you.

I would direct you all to my playlist, but I am getting a kick out of all the songs (better songs?) with the same title!
You KILL me with the bad sex comment! Let's see: Is bad sex better than no sex? Bahahaha!

rebecca said...

Eh..... No.