The music that moves me

“I don’t know who I am or who I was. I know it less than ever. I do and I don’t identify myself with myself. Everything is totally contradictory, but maybe I have remained exactly as I was as a small boy of twelve.”

– Giacometti, in Giacometti: A Biography by James Lord

I need to revise my walking playlist. Half the songs on there are included because they are excellent workout fodder. The others…well. Perhaps they were heart-pumping anthems at one point, but now they get me moving for another reason: They hit an emotional nerve.

These songs remind me of people and places and times that are gone from my life now. I managed to make it from adolescence to middle age with very few long-lasting emotional attachments, and sometimes that really bums me out.

I guess it’s understandable that I put these songs on my playlist. In my teens, back before I had a driver’s license or vices to turn to in my hour(s) of need, I used to go for walks when I was feeling angsty. I would walk and walk, like I could literally run away from my problems. When I returned home, I felt cleaned out and calm once more.

Like most teens, I had my share of angst, so I did a lot of walking. I had great legs back then.

I can recreate that angst in a drumbeat. Just queue up a particular song, and I am there. Heart pumping, feet pounding, trying my damnedest to get ahead of the pain. It’s great for cardio, but hell on my zen.

I won’t say I am exactly as I was at 12 – or 22, or even 32. There are some common threads, of course. But I’ve grown, adapted. I have scars in some areas, blooms in others. Like everyone does.

I used to be proud of my scars, and what they said of my ability to survive adversity. Now, though, I’m more interested in the blooms.

I’m tired of flogging the past. What happened, happened. The people who remained there belong there, for better or worse. I’m ready to look forward. To move into the next phase of being me.

This me walks not to burn off emotional angst, but to attain and nurture inner peace. I’m no longer running from my past, but moving towards my future.

It’s gonna be a long walk. A better playlist is in order.



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