Music has been one of my saving graces this year. It always has, really, but this year especially. It is a constant thread that runs through my life, as it does for so many others. The power of pressing play, and letting the songs get into your psyche is mesmerising. With the right song, we can change our mood completely – even if only momentarily. Playlists are amazing things, because the moment of lift can be stretched further.
Currently, as I mentioned in my list of good things, I am playing a lot of ’60s and ’70s music. A lot. One playlist on repeat. The Temptations’ My Girl, The Doobie Brothers’ Listen to the Music, The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun, Bee Gees’ How Deep is your Love, and The Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses, along with others, making up 1 hour and 12 minutes. I find myself dancing around the flat constantly.
For a few years, I had saved inspiration on Pinterest of guitars hung up on the walls in bohemian homes. In our small flat, we thought we maybe had too little space to be able to do that – or perhaps it was just the boy not particularly wanting to put the guitar on the wall. Instead, it was tucked away and barely played. Over the summer, he picked it up again, and it has been a source of joy for him. We also changed the living space around a lot in the summer…and suddenly had far more wall space to play with. I jumped at the chance to put it on the wall, and it has been worth it. The space feels much calmer, with all the changes, and it is brilliant to have the guitar accessible. The places we inhabit, if possible, should bring us joy – and how better to do this than to display the things we love?
Last month I finally watched a play – streamed online – called Augmented, written and performed by Sophie Woolley, and I related to many of her experiences. When I listen to music, I can stream it directly to my cochlear implant, thanks to a bluetooth listening device called the Compilot. In reality, it is as if it is playing directly in my brain. Cochlear implants convert sound into electrical signals that stimulate the cochlear, which you have to train your brain to perceive as sound. For someone like me, who has had a progressive severe-profound level of deafness throughout her life, and was implanted at the age of 27, it makes for an interesting journey. It only reminds me of just how vast the spectrum of deafness is, it can be so different for so many of us, and yet, we are similar in the barriers we face almost daily in societies around the world. There is likely a whole series of blog posts I can write about deafness, my cochlear implant journey, sign-language, and more. I have, over the years, written much on these topics, and there is more to write – there always will be. Grateful that I was able to still connect to music post implantation, as it was a very real fear of mine that it would sound too different.
All this to say, music is a wonderful thing. Plug in. Dance it out. Let it move through you. Let go.