Thursday, December 30, 2010

The beat without a drum

The light is dim as the Christmas tree next to me sparkles in manifest glory. The 12 strands it took to fully light the 15 ft tree eluminate the room. It's late and everyone is in bed, but not me. I'm knitting away, creating something beautiful for my closest friends late christmas gifts. My ipod is turned to my favorite playlist. The 23 saddest songs out of the thousands contained in the small device. All of these songs are slow and depressing. Some of them have awful memories attached to them, and as I listen I revisit the dreaded places. Others are just pure, raw distress. In the quiet you can feel the pain someone went through in order to create the sensation you feel as you listen to the song. I admire their ability to put so much blunt emotion into music. That's the way it should be. It drains all that you have left in you and leaves you dry. These songs make me stop and reevaluate my life. I think of all the relationships that need mending, and ways to heal them.
I love to listen to this playlist on long trips, sitting by myself on the bus back from Alaska... I'm sure I'll listen on my way to Africa as well...
I remember lying in bed each night last year. My roommate sound asleep. Sometimes it was just me and these sad songs to keep me company as I drifted into unconsciousness. Sometimes, when I got lucky, the rain would grace me with it's presence and slash against my windows and drip from the roof above. I would lay awake in bed with a broken, bleeding heart. No need to cry and wake up my roommate, I'd let the rain do it's job. These songs rip my heart out and make it bleed for all the saddness in the world. And I let it bleed... and then I pick up the pieces and move on.
They say I'm heartless because I don't cry in movies and I laugh at sad stories. I have no sympathy for those "heart broken" teenagers. I've been accused of being part of a "heartbreaking gang of girls," as someone once put it. They've never seen me cry. "Heartless!" they say. Sometimes I just don't want to feel... that's all.
Why are these awful songs my favorite, you say?
As I sit here innocently knitting away, they remind me that I'm still human.

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