Are there songs that take you back to a certain time in your life? Are the memories warm, passionate, painful?
I put on my headphones and a playlist during my writing time this morning. I was eyeball deep in characters until I heard the opening chords of a song I haven't listened to in ages. All it took was a few bars and I was instantly taken to a time fifteen years ago. It was summer. I had my first true boyfriend. And sometime in August, we broke up.
I played this song over and over that summer. And just by listening to it again, all this time later, all the feelings of that period came back. And not just feelings, but impressions. Of working outside in the intense heat of summer, feeling the sun soak into my bare shoulders during the day as I worked in the orchards. The coolness of dew in the wee hours of the morning (don't ask what I was doing out in the wee hours, OK?). The seductive feel of water on my skin as I swam in the purple twilight.
I use my senses to evoke memories. Sometimes it's a song; sometimes it's a smell. Like the scent of fallen leaves in October, or the damp earth after a rain in a drought. The feel of snowflakes fluttering on your face - the big ones the size of your thumb. It's the only way to truly experience life instead of just going through it.