Music sometimes makes me feel lost. It most times makes me feel found, but there are times where it comes into me and makes me feel like I never actually knew where I was and makes everything around me feel foreign. It is then that I feel small and incapable and want found music again.
Simon and Garfunkel is my current found music – it rescued me. It rescued me with its fluency and its perfect encapsulation of the weather. That was the problem – the reason music made me feel lost, instead of the usual deeply found and understood it brings – I was trying to make a playlist of songs that were perfect for today – a nearly snowy day – and it was fun and easy for the first three songs, then I got so caught up in the idea I had in my head about how it was supposed to look that it became dreadful. I could hear the airy and warm notes and combinations of instruments and voices that I knew should be on the playlist, I could hear the words about birds and cold air and fire places and wool sweaters and the good longing for sunshine and millions of other things, and I was raking my brain, flipping fervently through every song I knew and thinking surely I was forgetting millions that would be perfect and wondering why my song catalogue was as short as it was and I lost my bearings and slid to the imaginary floor of the imaginary room I’d been ravaging through, my hair wild, my face flushed, papers carpeting the floor and falling from the ceiling onto my distraught head. “Who am I?” I wondered aimlessly – as if the filing room for all music being in such utter disarray had made me forget.
I Googled ‘winter songs’ and browsed through the playlists provided, finding most of them to be entirely the opposite of what I was looking for, it was here, however, that I was brought to Simon and Garfunkel and their travelling, jovial, whimsical music filled me up and found me. It brought warm memories of elementary school and my third and fourth grade teacher who would play their music to us, her students, as we did social studies projects or journaled for the week. She is possibly my favorite teacher ever because she knew that young minds needed to be forced to journal and to be exposed to things as wonderful and pondering as Simon and Garfunkel.
I felt as I let the familiar notes wash over and through me and bring me back to found, that somehow Miss C. must’ve known that Simon and Garfunkel was found music – music that would seep into our wondering, wandering minds and stick somewhere and in the future in some lost kind of day, resurface at their call and speak of home.
It sounds ridiculous, I know, to put such high regards on Simon and Garfunkel, but it’s true. It’s true of lots of “ridiculous” things, but today was Mrs. Robinson and the wondering at what exactly “coo coo ca choo” means, and I am a Rock, which now, and forever will, bring on thoughts of Winnie Cooper because its first 26 notes are her theme on The Wonder Years, and The Dangling Conversation, which makes me smile because it’s so entirely me. It was as if each song, well-known or not, brought back the peace that was so flippantly lost and reminded me that “who I am” is not defined by music – though that may be part of it – who I am is not unraveled because I can’t find the songs I know exist that perfectly capture winter in their few minutes. Who I am is Maggie, daughter of the Father, who I am is the very desire of God’s heart, who I am is Beloved. In light of that, my identity crisis over the music looks more than stupid – it wasn’t though. It was me being so very consumed with Spotify and the fact that everyone can now see what I listen to 24/7 and worrying about what everyone’s opinion of everything that I lost the point of everything. It was me being unable to fill a mold I had created for myself – one that I wasn’t really meant to fill. It was me putting far too much thought and effort and worth into something that was supposed to be enjoyable – because somehow if I couldn’t complete the task exactly as I had planned to, I was a loser. It was me allowing the very powerful, deep-speaking thing that is music to wash over me in confusion and inadequacy. It was me forgetting. It was me forgetting what defines me. It was me forgetting what really fills me. It amazes me, really, how far my mind can stray. It leaves me awestruck, however, the ways in which I am called home – called to found. It leaves me dumbfounded how deeply music speaks – how the thing that had wrecked me, reminded me that I hadn’t strayed that far and there wasn’t really anything wrong and I just had to turn around and walk back to the house with the lighted windows waiting for me in the midst of the snow and the dark and open the door and be home.
It is stupefying to me that I am thanking God for Simon and Garfunkel, but I am, honestly and deeply, because he used their notes, their words, their rhythm to rectify my silly, wandering mind, and he smiled as he did so. Thank you God for Simon and Garfunkel – and for smiling as you did so.