Monday, January 24, 2011

Peace of Mind

[photo : Star Tribune]
Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to see one of my favorite artists of all time, Ms. Lauryn Hill in concert and fortunate enough to meet her after the show. Her energy was unbeatable and being in her presence was the best early birthday gift I could hope for. Exchanging words with her was a beautiful experience and it compelled me to reflect on the many incredible concerts I've gone to and what they have done for my mind, body and soul.

My first concert was Sting, whom I still credit with being one of the most charming and talented male musicians of his time. In high school I rocked out with Weezer and the Foo Fighters and just about lost my shit seeing Anthony Keidis on stage at the Chili Peppers extravaganza. (Even in a plaid kilt and bright red tie I'm pretty sure he's the foxiest californicator on the planet). I've seen Prince, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and Dessa; all local acts that I've written about, screamed about, and attempted to absorb just a little of their magic by being part of a crowd that stood amazed in their talent. Nothing makes me feel more alive than live music. Seeing MGMT and Sharon Jones last summer at Rock the Garden was another amazing day, and one I will never forget.
Through the often times tumultuous nature of growing up, we are all apt to suffer a few losses. Friends and lovers, houses and schools, but mostly ideas. The great news is that despite the unpredictable nature of life and the frightening facts of trying to navigate adulthood, music and all it stands for can never abandon you. As Ms. Hill would say, "you are my peace of mind." Music is truly the greatest comfort, most unfailing, inspiring art form in my life.

When I think of my relationship with music, (one of my longest and most fulfilling relationships to date,) I'm reminded of a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. The quote is in reference to the inner strength she finds in hard times, but it also reads a lot like what music would say to me in a love letter.
"I'm here. I love you. I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I am stronger than depression and I am braver than loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me."

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