“Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories.
And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it.“
Mr. Stevie had it right, y’all. So much music colors my life. A song comes on and within the first few notes, I’m transported. Memories, bright and sharply focused, take me back in time. Depending on the song, I could laugh out loud or burst into tears. I welcome all the memories–happy and sad–that the music brings to me.
Starting today, I’ll post the artwork for an album. Some are old; others are more recent. Some brought me joy; others got me through the toughest times in my life. All make up the soundtrack of my life, the music of my heart.
I remember exactly where I was when I first heard Lemonade. After a cruise celebrating my mother’s birthday I sat in the Detroit Metro airport, waiting for the flight to take me home. I’d heard the buzz about the album–the controversy over “Formation” at the Super Bowl halftime show, the shock that she made a whole entire film to go with it (#whodoesthat #yourfavecouldnever #shesthegreatest)–so I had to hear what the Queen was talkin’ ’bout. I purchased the album on iTunes and listened to it over…
At some points, I openly wept. In the terminal, on the plane–I couldn’t hold back the tears. You see, I had a tough time recovering from abuse from my ex-fiance. I felt betrayed. I felt angry. I felt afraid. I was just coming to the realization that, even though I felt powerless, I was the one who controlled my life. Lemonade spoke to all that betrayal, anger, and fear. It let me know I would make it through and be a stronger woman in the end.
In “Sandcastles”, Beyoncé sings:
Dishes smashed on my counter
From our last encounter
Pictures snatched out the frame
Bitch I scratched out your name
And your face
What is it about you
That I can’t erase
When every promise don’t work out that way
Her voice breaks at, “What is it about you that I can’t erase?” and it was like she read my heart and turned my deepest feelings into song. I wanted to forget my ex so bad–because he hurt me so bad–but he still haunted me.
Lemonade was my strength. Even today, every time a song from the album comes on, I stop and listen.
(Special thanks to Eli W. for inspiring this series!)
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