The solar eclipse 2017 is approaching.
It was the topic of discussion last night at an impromptu dinner party we had at J’s folks homestead.
We sat outside sipping alcoholic beverages,dodging mosquitoes, and tossing around a discussion on antiques and auctions.
Then someone mentioned the looming solar eclipse and I remarked that it will be a total eclipse, though we won’t see it from our weak vantage point. It will look more like two ships passing harmlessly.
We were vaguely reminded of song lyrics that resembled our topic of conversation to which J of course supplied the song title “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
As we drove home, dusk was setting in. J was quiet so I flipped through the radio and a song from my childhood came on. We arrived and J turned the car off but we sat and listened to the rest of the song.
Right before I got out of the car the intro to another song played in and J instantly started singing along…not really knowing what song it was, but knowing the words somehow.
I Soundhounded the song, and it was “Total Eclipse of the Heart” -Bonnie Tyler.
But it got me thinking about the music of our youth.
How it bleeds into us without us knowing it and inscribes itself on our DNA.
We won’t know who sings it, what the title is, what album it’s on or even what year it came out— but we will know all the words to some song we heard our parents play, or our aunts and uncles, our friends.
Do you remember listening to the radio in the car? Sitting unbuckled in the back seat of your mama’s big red blazer, with the windows down because the a/c was broken? The seat buckles were made of a shiny metal that absorbed heat and burned your hand to touch. Besides the sound of the wind rushing past the windows and the dull rumble of cars on the road, the radio was a constant sound.
Do you remember Smooth Jazz 95.7 blaring through the speakers? The relaxing lull of the DJ’s voice as they introduced the next song. The comforting sound of the plaintive saxophone or the gentle pluck of acoustic guitar.
I do. Music is the scrapbook of my childhood.
Whitney Houston takes me to mornings before school.
Anita Baker is the Saturday Morning cleaning songs, her voice could outdo the vacuum cleaner every time.
Sade and Michael Jackson are for long rides in the car.
Enya was a peaceful meditative drive to the bustling playground.
When I hear a song that holds a place in my childhood, it eclipses my present and for the 2:30 of that song I’m back in time where the entire world lay before me like one giant unexplored horizon.