Monday, May 5, 2014

A flightless bird, an American summer and a mixed tape

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” -Aldous Huxley

Summer is a time of refreshing, recharging, rearranging and rediscovering.  Summer was always the 3-month gap between each school year, where so much seemed to change: not only the colour of our skin or the length of our hair, but our favorite song, new friends and memories from nights staying up way too late and laughing way too much that you've worked off all of the junk food consumed during the three-hour conversation around the campfire.

Now that I'm nearly done with undergrad, the magical concept of summer doesn't seem to fade with time like I thought it would.  Maybe it's the extended daylight hours, the green forests begging for company or the seemingly endless back roads that lead to nowhere, anywhere and everywhere.  But something about the summer pushes away all of the anxiety, stress and fear felt during the other three seasons; you forget just how difficult the previous 9 months were and relax in the present, not wanting to waste one day of sunshine.

But something about the summer is also bittersweet because it usually means the end of another journey: the end of another school year, a final track season, a semester abroad, an internship, a lease with your roommates, or what society defines as 'childhood.' The changes are inevitable and unavoidable, but the softness of a cool summer breeze, the cooing of morning birds, the sweet taste of farm-fresh strawberries and the smell of fire lingering on your favourite flannel ease the transition; I'd like to think it's another way God has given us to find peace and comfort in difficult times.

With each summer, music becomes my best friend when real friends are scattered across the globe in Africa, Colorado, Spain, Idaho, Scotland, North Carolina, England, Pine Springs, Iraq, Northern Ireland, France, and Illinois.  My relationship with music has helped me bridge the distance between oceans, lakes, interstates and roundabouts. I find that music can create emotions that words on paper or by mouth can't always suffice on their own.  So, when another summer rolls around, I've realised mixed CDs keep the summer spirit alive and allow for communication with faraway friends that goes beyond the screen of a Skype date.

The mysteries of summer hide among the pines and beneath suntanned skin; the revival of creation refreshes our minds, spirits and bodies; music finds a way to bring together the emotions, the senses and the comforts to keep us connected even if it's just by taking a drive with the volume cranked or taking a run by the river with iPod in hand.

Summer '14: Rooted "The joy of nothing is a sweeter something and I will hold it in my heart"

1. Heart and Soul - Huey Lewis & The News
2. American Girl - Tom Petty
3. Down On The Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
4. Amsterdam - Peter, Bjorn & John
5. Magic - Coldplay
6. Islands - The xx
7. Time Keeper - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
8. Misunderstood - The Tedeschi Trucks Band
9. Barton Hallow - The Civil Wars
10. Soul Singing - The Black Crowes
11. Another Kind of Green - John Mayer Trio
12. Help Me Lose My Mind - Disclosure, London Grammar
13. Open - Rhye
14. My Blood - Ellie Goulding
15. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
16. Sing To The Mountain - Elephant Revival
17. Rye Whiskey - Punch Brothers
18. When You Come Back Down - Nickel Creek
19. Lonesome Road - We Banjo 3
20. Fire and Rain - James Taylor
21. Gypsy - Suzanne Vega
22. Joy of Nothing - Foy Vance
23. Me & God - Trent Dabbs
24. No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley & The Wailers
25. I'll Be Seeing You - Billie Holiday

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination

and life to everything.” - Plato


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