Every now and then, I become keenly aware of the passage of time. I may be reading a book that’s always been an old favorite, listening to a song, driving past a spot that’s been significant to me somehow, and all of the sudden, I can see it in terms of time, of the sometimes-vast span of time.
It happened to me on the way home from choir tonight. I was driving along, pissed because some butthole tailgated me and then blew past me on Highway 74. I was listening to The Monkees “You Told Me.” It’s the first song off their album Headquarters, which always holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first time that they took control of their own music. As a result, the album is beautiful, but also unrefined. Maybe it’s because I think I’m a little unrefined myself…maybe that’s why it’s such a dear old friend. Anyway…I was listening to the song, thinking about Mike Nesmith (the lead singer) and how different his voice sounds now, and–in one flash–I saw the years pass by. The song was written/recorded sometime between ’66 and ’67. In 1986, my mom played a Monkees record while she was cleaning the house. In 1997, I begged my parents for a guitar so that I could play Monkees songs. In 2013, I traveled to New Jersey with thousands of other fans for an entire weekend devoted to the Monkees.
And here it is…2014. A song that’s almost fifty years old has shaped my musical history…my relationship with music, with writing, with playing instruments, with singing, with performing in front of people. All of it. My whole life.
In Christianity, we call the concept “Providence.”…the idea that God intervenes to bring about events that lead us to significant places in our lives…the idea that, in 1967, Mike Nesmith wrote and recorded a song that, in 1986, would shape my relationship with music and as a result, my entire life.
It’s nice every now and then to see not only the entire forest, but also how old the trees are.