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Songs That Made Me Cry #1

October 18, 2007   |   2 Comments

Blue Skies
The Allman Brothers
My boyfriend and I were lying on the floor listening to music, smoking pot, waiting for the pizza delivery guy. I think I was about 18 years old. He wanted me to listen to “Blue Skies” by the Allman Brothers. Sure, I thought. Whatever. I like music. He cued it up and when it was over I said, “yeah, that’s pretty good.” I mean it was fine, good sounds, nothing wrong. Plus I was stoned and had a cute boyfriend, so what’s not to like. “No,” he said. “Listen again. Amazing guitar solo.” I didn’t really know what a guitar solo was, but assumed it meant some guitars would start to play louder than the other instruments at some point. So I listened. When it came to the part he wanted me to hear, he poked my shoulder and pointed to the stereo.

I can’t really describe what happened next. Suddenly it was like I had never hard music before. I heard that the song was made up of dancing, spinning parts. I listened for the drums to see if my ears could track their line and then I picked the bass out of the mix. There were two guitars playing and soon I could tell the difference between them—this one was a little sweet, that one a bit fuzzy. I found that I could zoom back and forth between listening to each instrument or the whole song, but I couldn’t do both at once. They call this dependent arising in Buddhism, meaning everything exists only in relation to something else—there is nothing on this earth with a separate identity.

The guitar solo came to the foreground and it was so unforced, it was like dangling your hand in the water while someone else rows, soft, smooth, effortless. Then the second guitar soloed, ending with a cascade of perfectly picked single notes in a repeating pattern and then—at 3:57 exactly—the first guitar came out of nowhere and mimicked the line exactly. With no effort whatsoever they found each other and played in tandem, one sweet and the other fuzzy, totally separate and completely joined. This is what had always been happening, I just never heard it before. I burst into tears.

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  • Posted by:  Ming

    SP – no need to post this just wanted to tell you what your comments brought to mind.

    misty grey
    Friday commute
    between exits 28 and 24
    changing lanes
    bumper stickers “YOUUUUUK”
    the trees appear
    on fire
    in the midst
    of fog and monotone sky
    not gaudy and sunlit
    just listing
    weekday morning
    there on Thursday
    there on Wednesday
    but today
    not separate from my car
    or my broken heart
    or the need to be at work on time
    just there
    in the mist

  • Posted by:  sandy

    believe it or not, the first song that ever made me cry was billy joel’s “i love you just the way you are”. i was about 17 and sitting in my mom’s huge ford LTD, waiting for her to come out of somewhere…a store or something, i don’t remember…and the song came on. it was a simple, loving pledge of deep, old affection, and i’ve always longed for someone to feel that way about me. to this day, i close my eyes and smile every time i hear it.

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“With wisdom, creativity and artistry, Susan Piver brings a Buddhist lens to the spiritual map of the Enneagram. The results are vibrant and nourishing; a banquet of insights that help us transmute our difficult emotions into pure expressions of our basic goodness.”

 – Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance