I woke up Sunday feeling tired and cranky. Could it be because I’d had a third date the night before, during which I managed to walk nine miles through a county fair, that ended with a “thanks for indulging me!” instead of a kiss? Yeah, that could’ve been part of it. I mean, I’m not unhappy about the nine miles. I hadn’t had that kind of exercise in ages – the kind of exercise that includes deep-fried, bacon-wrapped pickles. So the prospect of going to a concert that evening – one I’d bought tickets for and had been really excited about – now just made me long for my bed.
I arrived in Hollywood and joined the line for general admission that went all around the block (what’s a three-block line when you’ve walked four miles from a tilt-a-whirl to a live sheep birth?). Once inside, joined by my friend, I got myself a gin and tonic, and we waited for the show to start. By now I was feeling marginally better.
An energy exchange
Once the main act – Of Monsters and Men – entered the stage, the energy in the room shifted, and I really woke up. My exhaustion and crankiness gave way to an electricity that seemed to enter my toes and spread through my body.
I’d forgotten how invigorating it is to see live music. It’s not just hearing favorite tunes – it’s witnessing the performers do what they love on stage. There are few instances where one can view a professional enthusiastically doing their work, live. Theater, concerts, maybe sitting at the chef’s table – these kinds of experiences are inspiring, in that they not only display both the expertise and the passion that goes into it. They also allow for the the artist to observe their work being experienced by total strangers. It’s a symbiotic exchange of energy that’s exhilarating.
I thought about how I felt so much happier enveloped by that music. I didn’t want the inspiration I felt from the concert to dissipate once I got home. Music is a lot like scent, in that it has an ability to trigger memories and feelings associated with a certain time. I knew that I could improve my mood simply by listening to some songs that brought to mind times when I felt my best and was surrounded by the people and places I loved.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m listening to some favorite music. Reminding myself of great times from my distant and recent past. And, by remembering what makes me happy, returning to myself.