Monday, October 17, 2005


Even before the iPod was stolen, my life had grown quiet. No job, no home, no radio show, no rest for the psyche; it was fitting, perhaps, to be musicless in our gypsy mode, bereft of constancy in this like everything else, as if it were symptomatic of our rootless, uncertain existence.

Sure, you say, for most of that time I was iWired. The purewhite double umbillical earcords are all the rage. But most of my love for the 'pod is based on its whole and expandable potential, and no stereo means no speakers, no computer and no new CDs means no rich and constant bloodflow from the everemerging world of hi fidelity.

And how can you select a soundtrack for a coming horizon, an iffy unknown? You can't, and anyway, you can't really play your own music in other people's houses. And you can't sing in public with the damn phones on, and we were living in public.

It takes an environment to build an environment, four walls to build a mood beyond your ears, infiltrate the nearworld with your sonic selectivity until the world is, for just a moment, yours envelopingly. Who knew the sound of constant doubt was silence?

Through most of the long journey to here there was enough music, I suppose, though that's kind of like saying "there was enough air." Still, as long as the car was our home, I had a few moments here and there to roll up the windows and wail, I suppose -- mere pittance, but respite nonetheless.

Then, of course, with the iPod and FM broadcasting attachment gone, even the carspace was somehow less my own. I'd started listening to NPR in the morning -- we're not exactly in station central out here in the woods. But it's not the same.

Then there was the three weeks while, excruciatingly, the gifted iPod replacement (thanks, Dad) sat fallow on the shelf while we waited for a computer. But once we got one (thanks, Josh), it took me ten days to upload the first two thousand songs -- a mere pittance, even with a thousand podcompressed photos lending weight to the gig total. I'm but a third of the way through the CD collection, feeding disks to iTunes as I pass like coins a hotel lobby slot machine. Surfing the the mp3blog shortlist has once again become a daily ritual.

I got to a couple thousand, just to be sure.

And then, oh sweet then, I hit play.

Now I select songs for the moodsetting again, thinking of more than just my own needs, bestowing love through soundwaves once again. I play for the heart -- both mine and others, in every configuration. I feel like I'm in the flow, rediscovering, tracking down the rest of that song I heard on the radio, dropping it in the mix.

The stereo is in fragments, no surface yet to support it. But we dance nightly before bedtime, the baby in my arms, laughing, while her sister and I spin a lurching two-step. Tonight, for the first time since June, I harmonized my way through the laundry. Once again my head is filled with constant music.

Amazing how this tiny white box, this companion software, this small computer in the midst of cardboard chaos, majestically clears the bar, is transformation enough.

My life has its soundtrack back.

I can hear my heart again, and it sounds like everything.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:29 PM |

but the question is, Ifarber, aka former tributaranman, what is on your playlist right now?
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