I heard the news today, oh boy.

October 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

It is six a.m., so I’m making coffee and lunches and trying to get the boys out of bed. Jeff is helping—it takes both of us to get the kids and their gear to the buses, so that we can have a little time to get ourselves ready. We wake up to music on the alarm clock, but once in the kitchen, Jeff puts on the news. “Can you turn that off?” I say.

“I’m listening to it,” Jeff says.

I used to love this. I am a self -professed NPR junkie. Before Cole was two, he said something in the back seat of the car while I was driving. “What did you say?” I asked. “Ima Tayla,” he said. “What?” Then, on the radio, the reporter said, “for NPR, I’m Ann Taylor. “ It was that bad. I can’t listen to the news in the morning now, though. It has to wait until the afternoon, until I can steady myself.

Now, I need music. My mother’s funeral was March 4, 2011. The Tsunami in Japan was March 11, 2011. I could not bear to listen to the news coverage.  It kept coming. I had my own waves of sadness. There is not a lot of good news out there. It’s not that I didn’t care; it’s that I didn’t have any more room for grief.

My car died that winter too. My new car has a good stereo, and I made it through spring by avoiding the news. A human being can get saturated with loss.

When I was pregnant, I would cry with the news, detergent commercials, anything. I borrowed every emotion that brushed past me. Now, I protected myself. My car became a bubble, filled with loud, loud music on the way to work, especially.  I’d listen to anything, but the Pixies usually felt best—loud, screaming, but still melodic. Thank you, Frank Black. Some days, though, I needed Paul Simon, his wistful sincerity. There are not five stages of grief, by the way. The stages overlap, and so do the genres of music a person needs.

As they say in the mountains, tuka-tuka stop stop on the violin notwithstanding, all I can play is the radio, but I need that other part of my brain, whichever side it is, to seal off the incoming, to let the music shake my body from the outside in.

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