photo: bandstand at Pioneer Park, Walla Walla.
Music is amazing at bringing memories back. Whether it's a tune from your teen years or from a few weeks ago at church, music has a way of forming pictures in your head. I think we've all had the experience of hearing a song that we'd completely forgotten about, and having it jog a memory. We remember the lyrics, or most of them anyway, to a song that we haven't sung in 30-years. But what's more amazing is that songs will often take us to a place we'd forgotten about or a memory long-forgotten. Mental pictures are formed around songs.
For example, perhaps it's a song from the movie Grease. When you let the song penetrate, you can see your friends at the drive-in, watching the movie, goofing around and trying to get the attention of the popular kid from math class - the one who didn't know you existed. You remember belting it out with your best friend, at her birthday party. You remember pretending to be Olivia Newton John in front of your full length mirror and singing into your curling iron. And the memories, like notes of a song, continue.
Today your mini-memoir challenge is to write about music.
Turn on a radio station with the oldies or even one of the T.V. channels that have stations solely devoted to the 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond. Go about your business; cleaning, cooking, whatever. I guarantee a song will come on that will surprise you. You'll find yourself singing along. Now that you have that song stuck in your head (you're welcome, by the way), dig a little deeper.
* What feeling do you have when you hear it? Not all songs bring happy memories; that's OK. Feel whatever it is. Sometimes our most painful memories are our strongest.
* Are there people tied to that song?
*Did someone special sing that song? When did you first hear it? Where were you?
* What does the song make you want to do? Lie in a meadow of wildflowers? Jump off a tall building? Scream? Cry? Laugh?
Write your memories down. Just let them flow. This exercise will likely lead to a memory about a specific person or group of people. Write about that. Let your writing wander. There's nothing wrong with that!
Write Now - It's Later than you Think.