Sunday, 11 May 2014

Meaning In The Music and Powerful Friendships

Have you ever heard someone say "I don't like music"? The preferences and tastes differ, but music is something we all enjoy and associate with the events of our lives.

Scent can be very powerful in recalling memories, good and bad. Such recollections happen in the most random places; I can remember one particular time when I was on the bus headed home and some guy had drenched himself in Joop, making me think of somebody that I used to know (and no longer do, thankfully). The smell of fresh cut grass reminds me of being a cub and playing on the field outside the Scout Hall.

But it is my experience that music can be just as powerful at bringing us back to a time and place we previously inhabited. I've been rediscovering old favourites of mine lately; Oasis, Jimmy Eat World, The White Stripes and Tegan and Sara, to name a few. In doing so, I've remembered people and places I encountered in my more youthful days. Like old friends, they are comforting and dependable.

Music has the power to bring strangers together to form a common bond; it was for this very reason that the Eurovision Song Contest came to be in a war-torn landscape in the 50s. 

It's like finding an unexpected treasure when you're chatting with someone and they reveal how much they love a certain band or artist and you go, "Me too!".

Then there are the moments when you indulge in a friendly giggle and "Really?" when such revelations are surprising to you. While having a coffee with a friend (who also blogs rather wonderfully here) on Thursday, he told me how much he loves Little Mix; not a band I can say I've listened to, but it bonds you all the same. You discover something new about another human being and in the steps of friendship, learn something personal.

On the subject of friendship, recent weeks have taught me a lot about who you're real friends are and what true friendship is. One such friend is my Darling Iarlaith. As it happens in life, sometimes you get busy and you go from seeing each other nearly every day, to weeks passing by without even talking. When you're a kid, you define your best friend as the person you spend the most amount of time with. But as you get older, the definition of friendship changes and evolves.

In the last few months, we saw each other a handful of times and stayed in contact over text. But last week, knowing I was having a hard time, Iarlaith was there for me. From visiting me when I was sick (despite being extremely busy), phonecalls on his break in work to see how I was doing because my Mum was having an episode and he knew I wasn't okay, I discovered the depth of our friendship - strong and vital - despite however much time had passed. Another dear friend of mine rescued me -for want of a better word - twice this week, in different circumstances. I don't know what I would've done without his friendship and kindness.

It sounds simple, but it's amazing how rare it is that friends behave in such a way. It's the recognition from another that your relationship is important and they treat it as such. When I thanked both of  them for what they had done, both replied "You would do the same for me" - which is true; but as you get older, you discover that some people expect you to do certain things for them, that they don't, or won't, do for you.

Last Wednesday, as Iarlaith and I shared a couple of bottles of wine with my Mum (feeling better and very happy to be spending time with Iarlaith who we consider family), I think we both realised how resilient our friendship is. That despite life, and other people, we're always there for each other when the proverbial crap hits the fan. I got some bad news that night and between one thing and another, was a bit fragile. Both Iarlaith and my other friend were there for me.

The very next day, I discovered something else about meaningful friendships; that when a connection is true, it never really goes away. Despite not seeing each other for the guts of three years after our friendship ended on a bad note, myself and another came together for coffee and Diet Coke in Dakota. Two and a half hours later, we both marveled at how easy it was to talk to each other and catch up, like we had only seen each other for the last time a week ago.

It meant more to me than I could attempt to put into words and I only hope that through my actions and time, I will be able to show them that. It is my sincere wish that I will have the opportunity to rebuild what we once had, except better this time. It's not very often that one gets a second chance and it's even more rare to still have a bond with someone despite arguments and distance between you. I'm lucky enough to have encountered friendships this week, in different ways, that I truly value and wish to nurture.

Between such events and the songs I've been listening to, I've found myself flooded with memories. Music has played such an important role in my life. The name for this blog was inspired by a Beatles song that has always held a special resonance for me.

I read lyrics the way one reads books and depending on what's happening in my life or how I'm feeling, discover lines or whole verses that speak to me as if written to reflect my mood or emotions. In days gone by, you would post lyrics underneath your name on MSN messenger (I know I wasn't the only one to do this) because, in a cheesey way, the song got you. You wanted the world, or maybe just one particular person, to know how you were feeling. Nowadays, we use social media. The method has changed but the sentiment is still the same.

In this spirit of shared meaning, here are some of the songs that I've been playing on repeat of late. Sometimes, music says the things that you can't.

Mucho Love,

Vicky xoxo

                                                        The Vaccines, All In White

                                        The White Stripes, You Don't Know What Love Is

                                                    Brandon Flowers, Only The Young 

U2, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me

Regina Spektor, One More Time With Feeling

Tegan and Sara, And Darling 

                                         Cute Is What We Aim For, The Curse Of Curves

                                                        The Cure, Just Like Heaven

The Gaslight Anthem, Here's Looking At You Kid

Jimmy Eat World, Big Casino 


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