One of the items on the list I posted last time was to “just sit and listen to music”. It was about a year ago that I realized that, even though I love music, I didn’t make space to just sit with it and listen. I have music on almost constantly throughout my day, but always as I’m doing something else. And sure, there’s points where I’ll stop and listen, or jam out, or sing along. It’s not that I’m not hearing it. But the experience I had a year ago was different.
My boy was about 10 months old at the time, and (as he still does) he needed to be held and rocked to sleep. So you create a quiet, dark space in his room, and of course bring headphones along because you’re gonna be there for a while. Sometimes I’d listen to an audiobook or music on shuffle, but recently I’d learned about something called Vinill Vikunnar. It means “Vinyl of the Week”. An Icelandic radio DJ talks for a few minutes, then plays a record front-to-back without interruption. Every show goes online and stays up for a year afterward. And when I can’t decide what to listen to, I just hit play on the next thing on their list.
The next thing happened to be this:
This album is actually one continuous 46-minute track, divided into ‘movements’ as it rises and falls. There’s a pattern of notes established in the very beginning that persists the entire time. And while I rocked my boy and listened, I was enthralled — though the album was so unusual to me that I couldn’t have said that I was really enjoying it at all.
Still, the experience of sitting quietly and just…going along for the ride left a big impression on me. I kept returning to the album on Spotify because I wanted to hear the pattern of notes again, and usually got pulled into listening to most or all of it every time. Eventually I could say: yes. I do enjoy it. It was initially pretty far from the kinds of music I enjoy, but like good art does, it stayed on my mind afterward.
To bring the story back around to my initial point, that kind of experience is something I want to try and keep making space for. I don’t expect everything to make an indelible impression, but I do want to relax and let my mind voyage, and maybe discover something brand new.
Thing I Saw: I tried to find one years ago and gave up, wondering how anybody ever got their hands on them. Suddenly, today, a local department store has aluminum can crushers for sale. Big stack. Too bad we hardly drink cans of things around here anymore 😐
Thing I Learned: You can substitute coconut oil for butter/margarine on a 1:1 basis in recipes. But! If you melt the coconut oil and don’t mix it fast enough it can start to harden again and then you’ve got big chunks that you’re not sure what to do with (melt again)
I’m Grateful For: Financial stability. I can go out to the shops and pick up random lil’ things without worrying how they’ll impact our budget. It’s a big privilege!