Music Is the Tide On Which My Spirit Rides

MUSIC is the flowing tide on which my spirit rides. A tone, a beat, an emotion, illustrated not through what we can see, but through what we hear, which turns into what we feel.

What makes music so memorable is the way it melds into the experience one’s in. When observing the final rays of light, music floods me with emotion, partially because what I’m experiencing is so profound. It’s not logical, not the fading sun or the music.

It connects to a deeper self, which thrives below our rational outer being.

When I’m driving in the car, the music that I listen to literally carries me from place to place; I move through the world carried by the beat of the drum, the storm of the guitarist’s chords which fall like gentle drops of rain or lightning at the crux of a downpour.

The lyrics, often the simplest lyrics, evoke something in me that, like poetry, illuminates the innate desire to understand the nature of our existence.

Music isn’t rational, and I don’t understand it. Familiar and foreign all at once, alive, changing, adapting, breathing, just as much as you and me.

How can we explain what’s really happening at a concert? Human beings come together to take part in a change in vibration, an altering of frequency — we pay hundreds of dollars to listen to sounds, sounds that stay with us for a lifetime.

A finger presses upon an ivory key, and the world changes. The world of the listener, of the player, of the human being seeking release, an escape, solace from this game we call living.

Music gives meaning to the meaningless — at least what we consider meaningless — this journey of life and the pain that comes with it.

Because it’s not only uplifting music that we listen to and love. Melancholy music can be the most beautiful. It illuminates the darkness, turns it into something not to be suppressed, but accepted, cherished, seen.

My love for music has shaped me. I look back through the seasons of my life and there’s always a song, an album, an experience which symbolizes that season better than anything else.

A song creates a memory, intertwined with this incomprehensible reality that we live in, our past, and our present, and what to make sense of it all.

These following bands and artists are the first ones that came to me when I considered the music that has influenced me most — they’ve shaped my years, and given my life a soundtrack.

Fleet Foxes
Gus Dapperton
Jack Johnson
The Beatles

Growing up, I felt like The Beatles were immortal, like our dads can seem immortal. My dad tells me of growing up during Beatles mania in the 60s, when he and his brothers had the Beatles cuts.

Maybe because The Beatles are from another time they were immortalized in my eyes. The Beatles are a story. The music makes me happy, melancholy, thoughtful. The lads had fun, and so do those who listen.

The lyrics from Hey Jude and Let it Be are some of my all-time favorites:

Don’t you know that it’s the fool, who plays it cool,
by making his world a little colder.
— Hey Jude
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
— Let It Be

Paul McCartney said on an episode of Carpool Karaoke that his mom had died, and I think he was worrying about something. His mom came to him and said, let it be.

This episode is quite brilliant, the best thing I’ve watched in a long time. I cried.

Kid Cudi

I’d finished a 10th-grade history test and slapped in my headphones to listen to the just released Man on the Moon II.

The lyrics and the feel of the album are somber, yet the music is pulsing with an electricity, a celestial vibration that seeps into your soul and makes you want to see the world, look up at the stars, and discover what it means to live.

Birds sing flying around
You never see them too long on the ground
You wanna be one of them.
— Mr Rager, Kid Cudi
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