Sunday, March 17, 2013

...And The Music Plays On

Alicia Keys...thank you!
Music has always been my go to ally . It soothes my soul like nothing else does. My iPod content is a veritable musical stew ranging from hip hop's Mary J. Blige, to the soulful Adele, to jazz trumpeter, Chris Botti, and to the full orchestrated sounds from movies tracks such as “The Last of the Mohicans”, which is stunning. Until recently, my Sunday afternoon retreat from the world ritual included me, a recliner and my iPod. For hours I would get lost in the beauty of the songs.

And then...
Life changed. An unexpected divorce made the lyrics and the rich melodies too hard to listen to. The magic of the strings and kettle drums reaching a breath taking crescendo was nothing short of painful. And I was lost. Life was forever altered and I couldn't afford to also lose the one thing that centered me the most…not now, not when my sagging spirit so needed the lift that those mesmerizing Sunday afternoons always gave me.

And then…
Kelly Clarkson
A car commercial, of all things, a car commercial with Kelly Clarkson belting out " “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn't mean I’m lonely when I’m alone,” got my attention...and the search began. I didn't have to give up music, I just needed to find something or someone out there who was saying "okay, I've been there and this does suck, but let's move on!" My friends and family were saying that...I just needed the right musical accompaniment to complete my journey! A CD that my youngest sister made me for a long road trip got me well on my way.

And then...
I heard Christine Aquileir in the song "Fighter" actually thanking her ex for breaking her heart  “Cause it makes me that much stronger. Makes me work a little bit harder, makes me that much wiser – thanks for making me... a fighter!”
Many of the songs on Adele's now infamous break up CD "21" are brutal to listen to if your actually breaking up with someone. But on the track "Turning Tables" she is getting out of a smothering relationship by claiming "under your thumb, I can't breath". And she knows what she must do to survive “Next time I’ll be braver, I’ll be my own savior…standing on my own two feet”.

I'm inspired! The people who've talked the talk and walked the walk are on the path ahead of me waving for me to follow. And I do.

And then...
In finding the courage to allow myself to hear the music again, I heard the words that resonated the most. In the song "A Brand New Kind of Me" Alicia Keys sings “It’s been a while, I ‘m not who I was before. You look surprised your words don’t burn me anymore. Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see. Don’t be mad, it’s just a brand new kind of me. Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free.”

Unbelievable!!! That song did more for me than the therapist could. I first saw the video of it while channel surfing one night and immediately got up to download it. I must of listened to it ten times in a row. It was a "light bulb" moment. It made me realize that I was trying to do the impossible...stay myself while the world around me was changing! You can't go through a 40 year marriage and not be altered by its ending, but you can take what is best in you and make it better. A "Brand New Kind of Me" embraces's that belief. 

And I should know this! Hanging over my desk for the past several years has been a quote from Maya Angelou that says “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Not being able to listen to music would have reduced me in a way that would have been insurmountable to recover from. I am not going to let that happen. It's Sunday afternoon, and I am heading to the living room with my iPod and a cup of tea. I will reclaim my world!

And then...
Listen to it all!

Photos by ImageGoggle 


  1. Lovely Jo... beautiful... you are getting taller and stronger with each and every passing day!

  2. With a little help from my friends...and my iPod!

  3. Remember what Cat Stevens sang too. "Yes I'm on my way, I know I am. I feel the power growing in my hair!" You're on you way Jo

  4. Thanks Crystal! I could use some power in my hair!

  5. Thanks Crystal! I could use some power in my hair!