I can survive and I can endure :: Under the Covers

Most of the Time :: Sophie Zelmani

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The way I relate to the world has always been tied to the way I connect to music. There is not a single memory that holds any significance in my life that I do not have a tie back to a song, or an album. Sometimes the memory is sewn tightly to a piece of music. It may have been playing in the background, or in the foreground. The moment may have occurred with a song sung, or while in the presence of music. It could have been in the company of a musician, or within the close knit group of “chosen family” that sprung out of years working in record stores. Some of my memories are of chord progressions played for me, or alongside of me. Even the life I lead now, there is not a day that goes by without music playing, or sung.

Its tricky though, connecting memories to music. A song can hit you so hard because of the significance that has been attached to it that it can cause an outburst of unexpected emotion, it can rip off the band-aid covering still-fresh heartache, or it can remind you of a past that you might want to completely forget. Music can do just the opposite, too. I can bring back a moment of bliss that you want to carry with you forever, it can inspire you to push through a block in your own art, or make you try that much harder, believe in yourself that much more, push down the last bit of self-defeating resistance that stands in your way. Sometimes a song brings tears, and sometimes, well, you need those tears.

Today I found myself reminded of this song through a memory sparked after watching a favorite movie of mine. This song was not in the movie, but the original artist that Sophie Zelmani is covering sang in the film. Bob Dylan opened the movie, Wonder Boys, with another of his songs that I love, and long after the credits ran I found myself thinking of other songs of his. This one, Most of the Time, was the song that kept nagging at me in the way that sometimes a new piece of dialogue, or a new part of a story I’m writing does. It demands attention, and in an effort to listen to my inner voice more, I indulged it. First it was the original, then it was a few others who have covered it that I love. Finally, though, it was this cover that I landed on, one that is full of memories for me, some personal, some painful, and some beautiful.

I don’t wish to write about any of them, nor do I want to return to the times the song reminds me of. Instead I just want to hit play a few times and let all of it wash over me, close my eyes and watch the film-strip scenes of a time from the past that I once had a lead role in, and then let it all go. As a writer I know I will revisit the past. I know I will not just revisit, but I will borrow from it. My characters will try on traits and habits, good and bad, and it will become a part of them. Sometimes I may even reference the memories directly, and maybe the people who are a part of them might read what I put out there. So be it. I can’t pretend to know what anyone else thinks or feels, nor what they interpret in what I say, or do. All I can do is be me. All I can do is live my life. All I can do is close my eyes and remember the past, and then leave it where it belongs — behind me.

I am stronger than I ever have been before, and I would never want to be anywhere but where I am now.  I am so done with romanticizing the past.

And though I sometimes look back, it doesn’t have to mean I want to rewind, it is because it is mine to look back on — my memories, and my stories. Most of the time I keep my eyes on the road, but sometimes I indulge in the memories, and then I go on, and listen to the next song.

There is always a next song.

What is your favorite version of this song? What song is running through your head today?

Most of the Time :: Bob Dylan

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