[This post is part of the College: Alphabetized by Album series]
There is a scene in the movie High Fidelity where Rob Gordon (John Cusack) is sitting on the floor organizing his album collection autobiographically. This series is going to be kind of like that, but reversed. Whereas Rob’s records were being organized on the shelf by date of purchase, I am organizing the story of my time in college alphabetically by title of album. I was thinking of ways I could reminisce about my time in college in an interesting way, and since I’ve intentionally used music to catalog my memory, this seemed like the obvious route to take.
In a non-physical kind of way, I use music to time travel on a regular basis. I can do this of course because I was intentional about the soundtracks I picked when I was doing things I wanted to remember later. In order to re-tell the story of my time in college, it’s just a matter of retrieving the memories stored in my iTunes library.
I could tell the story in a strictly linear sort of way starting when I moved to Florida in the fall of 2003 and started Word of Life and then end in the present, having just graduated Dallas Seminary and interestingly, moved back to Florida. The story would have the nice bookends of adventurous moves to the Sunshine State, but since I rabbit trail anyway when I tell stories, why not use a structure conducive to rabbit trailing?
So, in that light, if you like music, you’ll like this series. If you are interested in learning how you too can successfully time travel using your iTunes library, you will find this series instructive. If you think I am interesting person, you’ll enjoy the stream of consciousness I exude here. If none of those describe you, then just skip reading my blog on Mondays for the next several months.
Using a sort in my iTunes library, it looks like the first album up will be Mae’s (a)fternoon. This happens to be an album I purchased just about 1 year ago, but unlike some of Mae’s other albums, it is not one I listen to that often. This particular Mae EP is part of their (m)orning, (a)fternoon, (e)vening trilogy which is meant to sonically capture the sound of a day (you may also notice that the parenthesized letters spell M-A-E, which actually stands for Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience). Being the accomplished musicians that they are, they do a superb job, and this album does have give of that “afternoon” kind of vibe.
My most distinct memory of this album is listening to it while driving in the fading Texas afternoon sun as we left Dallas on the way to Florida for a week off last August. This was to be our vacation, and a week off before my last year of seminary started up. It was also to celebrate our anniversary, which incidentally, happens to be today. I had picked this album up as per my usual custom of getting some fresh music before a road trip. As we embarked for what would be a great vacation in Florida, this seemed like the best way to start the soundtrack off for our overnight drive. Now, whenever I listen to this album, especially while driving, I am immediately brought back to living in Texas and late afternoon drives there. I think of road trips to Florida with Ali, and in a roundabout way, I think of our anniversary last year, and can look back at how far a year has brought us in our relationship. We’ve come along way metaphorically speaking, but geographically, we’re back into familiar territory. The difference now being, we aren’t here on vacation, we’re here because we moved, and even more specifically, we moved into a house in the Waterford Lakes area of Orlando. I’m actually sitting in Barnes and Noble right now making use of the internet because ours won’t be connected until Thursday.
Two years ago today, we got married. A year ago today, we were visiting Ali’s aunt and uncle down in Naples and thinking about how great it would be to come back and live in Florida. Time travels pretty fast, and today, we’re unpacking boxes in our new house and looking forward to where we might just be this time next year. Part of our journey will necessarily unfold as I tell more about my journey through college. What happens next depends on what album comes next, and to find that out, check back next Monday.