I miss mixed tapes.
That's what I thought to myself as I walked out to my car (with no tape deck) on the first day of work in quite a while for me.
I miss the days of tapes that had been made by people who knew me well. (I also had a long pause as I stood at my door, missing the tapes, while I pondered the fact that I was now old enough to find myself wallowing in nostalgia at 7:00 AM on an idle Tuesday morning).
This is what I miss:
-The songs all had some kind of thread connecting them, but it was an organic one, not the kind found through logarithms and computerized gadgets, and part of the fun was figuring out the tie that bound the songs together.
-They were always made with love. The maker undoubtedly--no, inevitably, given the nature of tapes--spent hours making the tape, not to mention the time spent deliberating about what to include. The space was finite, precious. The maker had to maximize it with the perfect harmonious mix.
-Those tapes unlocked doors to new and amazing musical experiences. Some of the mixed tapes I received in my adolescence quite literally changed my life. The music was a link to a past, a present, a future. It was a link to a community.
-Road trips without mixed tapes will never be the same. We can have all of the podcasts that we want--all of the digital connections possible--and still, it will not be like the days of mixed tapes, driving down the road rewinding it to exactly the right spot so that you can hear that perfect song just one more time.
Even after all this time, I find that music saves me over and over again. It has always been songs that have brought me through darkness and difficulty, songs that have given me the strength to carry on when the task seemed impossible. Even now, when I'm outdated and far too clueless to know so many of the artists out there, when I no longer have space in my brain for band names and song titles, much less specific lyrics, I find myself clinging to the songs I know and love to give me comfort and guidance when faced with obstacles.
"that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have..."
© K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All thoughts and ideas are the author's and do not represent any employer.