Ticket to ride
Over Sunday salads, my friend Kristy described how catching Joan Baez‘ late-1960s recording of Don’t Think Twice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYeXvG2ptwk had brought her to tears she couldn’t track back. Clearly, something memorable had occurred to create that emotional link, but the details had long disappeared. How is it, she pondered, that simply hearing Baez’ bell-clear voice and acoustic chords served as a ticket to its own time?
Ticket. Right metaphor, we agreed. But by the point we realize we’ve purchased that transfer, we’ve already moved on to become other people. Which makes connecting the person we were then to the one we are now a sight-seeing trip, all its own.
My most recent reminder came courtesy of Richie Havens and his CD Mixed Bag (1967)–iTuned for me this past Christmas by my daughter-in-law Brooke, who wasn’t born until three years after the album was pressed. Two cuts–Follow and Handsome Johnny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNbaAX6SnFw —have had me revisiting and remembering the Vietnam years and the voices that emerged. And those that were stilled.
By the time the movies depicting that era were released, we had changed. We took in Coming Home, for which Haven’s Follow was the love scene song of the soundtrack, and Platoon, featuring Aretha’s Respect and Grace’s White Rabbit, with different eyes and ears than had coded them into our personal databases. Was the songs’ power to take us us back part of our moving forward? Does a recalibration take place in our hearts and minds to change us, somehow?
When I shared this with a co-worker familiar with my mental meanderings, he got in the game. But his response was just a nod and a word: Beatles. Hard Day’s Night or Norwegian Wood or She’s Got a Ticket, just say the title and a specific time/place/person flashes on his mental screen. Which shifted the conversation into curiosity about how our brains sort these things. And why. And where they store the leftovers.
My friend says Amazon.
Photo: modomatic/Flickr Creative Commons