The Aftermath of the Decemberists show

I feel as though I’ve had several layers of skin stripped away. I feel more naked, more vulnerable, more sensitive to the music that I hear. And not just when I listen to the Decemberists songs I heard that night – when I listen to any music that has the least bit of emotion in it.

Granted, I’ve always been more vulnerable to music than, say, silly boys or romantic movies. There’s a flexibility to it, an ability to mold itself to whatever mood you happen to be in. The nuances, the subtleties, the depth that you can find in a few chord changes never ceases to amaze me. There’s just something in a tune that can cut straight to my heart the way no boy telling I’m pretty ever will. Unless, maybe, the boy is singing that tune?

But lately I’ve been feeling more overwhelmed than usual when listening to certain songs. Mostly the Decemberists, true (“I Was Meant for the Stage” is pretty much on repeat), but also the National, and currently, James Brown’s version of “Georgia on my Mind.” I was listening to The National’s “Geese of Beverly Road” on my shuttle ride home today, and I was literally in a trance. Nothing else was getting into my head in those few minutes. Yesterday I felt like I was going to start crying when hearing “Lucky You” from their Daytrotter Session.

I’m not complaining about this. It’s nice to have my stoicism ripped away every once in awhile. It’s nice to be reminded that I am capable of overwhelming emotional responses. But I worry about the bleed-through to other areas of my life. Since I am more vulnerable to music, does it stand to reason that I am more vulnerable to dumb boys and stupid romantic movies? This is the part that worries me, the part that makes me just want to turn the volume up, curl up in bed, and let it all go.

It’s the part that frustrates me that I can’t produce music that gives me this response. All I want to do is indulge myself, and I don’t have the talent to do so. I feel so inspired by all this music around me, but I can’t do anything about it. I try, but it just reminds me that I haven’t faithfully played piano for about 7 years, and not even the 10 years of lessons before that can make up for a lack of practice.

This is all sounding rather depressing, but really, it’s not. It’s just a testament to an experience that made me realize that life can be (and sometimes is) so much of a greater thing than I give it credit for. It’s a reminder that extraordinary things can be achieved by people I know, and yes, even by myself. It’s a dangerous feeling, yes, because it makes you realize all the extraordinary things you haven’t done (or rather, all the ordinary things that you have), and this can lead into depression, but I prefer to take it for motivation. Time to get my ass in gear. Time to pull myself out of this rut of normalcy and take part in something that will give someone else this same feeling.