It's been a rough couple of days. I'm never going to underestimate an unpleasant living situation again, because this one has put me through the mill and it's only been four days. I've been a neurotic wreck in that brief window; even ballet class did nothing to make me feel better. (Incidentally, I started to write about that but it turned into a rant, so I'll put that post on hold.) When I get really upset and I'm far from my family, sometimes I read books that remind me of them, but since my schedule is a little busy I opted to listen to music that reminded me of them instead.
I do that a lot, actually. For instance, at camp over the summer we had really nice Saturday morning breakfasts. It was supposed to be a good send-off for the campers, and everyone did look forward to those breakfasts, but I did not. Everyone's favorite fancy breakfast is a warm, gooey cinnamon roll, so I had to stay up late on Friday night (while everyone else was at the dance party in the lodge) and roll out a hundred-some cinnamon rolls. The next morning, I would get to the kitchen at 6:30 in the morning to proof and bake the rolls, and since that's pretty much a one-person job, I told my fellow cooks to sleep in. It sounds kind of grim and lonely and cold, and it was, but I also kind of loved those mornings when I could ease into the day doing what I loved most, all by myself. As I proofed and baked, I listened to the Avett Brothers and thought about all the mornings I had dragged my mother out of bed so I could get to chorale rehearsals. It made me feel close to her, which turned those solitary mornings into something to look forward to.
This morning I listened to The Roches album A Dove. It's surprisingly hard to find, but the songs are the stuff of my young childhood and that album reminds me of riding in our old red minivan, singing along to tapes. Man that memory dates. It's a really great album, and the Roches truly rock, but it didn't make me feel any less sad. I twitched and moped the day away until after dinner, when I settled in with Songza and my Bio notes to do a little studying. Songza is awesome (and Alice totally invented it) because it lets you choose your music based on what you're doing while you listen. I chose to study to jazz from the 50's and 60's, which is so evocative of my dad that I felt like he was in the room with me, telling me get a grip and identify the sax player. It's pretty awesome that music can have such strong associations, and I have to admit that I feel a lot better.