Memories of Music

I heard KRS-One’s “Step Into A World” on BBC Radio 6 unexpectedly. It came on as I was curling my hair, and by the time I finished the left side of my head I’d fallen into that familiar wormhole — the one through which I revisit the blur that is, roughly, 1997 to 2002 — and had somehow, in those minutes, written an entire post in my head about how music stirs my memory. Within the very fabric of a song, there appears to be a layer or frequency that, when played and heard by my ears, unlocks a tiny door into my mind, swirls the serotonin, and releases the dopamine.

And now, I can’t write that post here. The words were fluid in my head: a space where nascent ideas are brilliant, where then and now blend, and where everything makes sense. My shower creates a similar space: when I wash my hair, the running water and the mundane task at hand release the flow of thoughts. Yet when I sit and try to put these words down, I can’t slip back into that zone.

When I write about my memories of music, I grasp at moments like butterflies, trying to catch and place them into a glass jar to study. But place a butterfly in a jar, and the butterfly is no longer a butterfly.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Senior editor, Automattic. Editor and curator, Longreads.

2 thoughts on “Memories of Music

  1. I feel the same way about a word or phrase that jogs my memory about something I would like to explore in depth (writing) and if I don’t write it down it gets lost in translation somewhere in my mind. I love your analogy of putting a butterfly in a jar–it’s not the same. Happy Nesting.

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