Saturday, February 25, 2012

Estate Sale

On my Saturday morning constitutional I walked past a house having an estate sale and my voyeurism tendency kicked in. How often do I have the chance to look through someone's house and stuff without them inviting me over or me just letting myself in? ;)

Browsing other people's most near and dear possessions quenched my bout of  voyeurism but also left me feeling sad.  Having never been to an estate sale I didn't realize that it literally meant everything is for sale. There were even pictures for sale of the people who, I can only assume, lived in the house. Who would buy those? Much of the stuff was still in closets or seemed barely taken off the wall and put on a table. These people's lives had been so exposed.

I associate estate sales with death, mainly of old people or sudden, tragic deaths. I hope when I die my family will just send my stuff to DI or Good Will and not open my house up for people to come riffle through my things. Despite my indignant rant they did have some great stuff. Here are the things I would have bought had I any money with me:

  • A Cole Porter LP
  • A MoTab Sings Christmas Carols LP
  • An 8-Track player
  • Portfolio-like books of Cezanne and Van Gogh, with prints
  • A few scarves
  • The July 1982 edition of National Geographic

Thursday, February 23, 2012

LOVE of Music

Many of you already know this, but I LOVE music. I LOVE music in the sense that I am annoying to talk to about music; but not in the sense that I am up to date on all the latest artist or know everything about every band ever. When I find an artist or a band I like, I REALLY like them and will follow them for years. I’m one of those people that if I wasn’t so inhibited I would be that annoying person you are standing next to at the concert swaying to the music with my eyes closed.  For now I try to keep that confined to my house and bedroom. 

Music is a balm and a coping mechanism. Music offers me the same familiarity and safety a security blanket offers a toddler. High energy situations and stress in my life are usually accompanied by a large dose of The Strokes; sad and lonely times require a few hits from Regina Spektor or Andrew Bird. Then there’s Bon Iver, who I will listen to anytime, anywhere, no matter my mood.  However, my music-listening hobby can have side-effects, a particular song, album or artist will suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelm me with memories.

Today I was listening to some M. Ward Archives on NPR as I was doing other work. A song came on from his Post-War album and the next thing I know, instead of thinking about the impact of maternity care practices on birth costs, I’m back in Cheyenne Wyoming at my brother and sister-in-law's house sitting on the twin bed they bought me trying to figure out what I should do with my life. Ironically, I can listen to the latest Bon Iver or Santigold and have the same experience, the only difference is the bed I’m sitting on now is in Atlanta:)

I know this phenomenon is not unique to me. I also have had similar experiences reading, but I love that a 3-4 minute song can conjure up a perfectly melded experience of time, place and situation that I will never be able to visit in person. I don't mind that the memories aren't always happy.

So I leave you with a cover song that I LOVE

M.Ward’s cover of David Bowie's Let’s Dance