My turntables recently came out of semi-retirement and in the wake of my current drive to Feng Shui the shit out of my apartment, I’ve been systematically going through all of my vinyl, taking stock of my collection and weeding out albums I’m not feeling.  There have been a couple of interesting side effects to this process.  One is that I’ve realized how much the brain can remember, as I’m listening to songs I haven’t heard in years and recalling almost all of the lyrics while singing along.  The second is an emergence of grief over a loss I experienced last year, in a different way.

I’m under the belief that some grief never “ends.”  Listening to these old, familiar records that have nothing to do with the person I lost, I’m struck by thoughts of how fun it would be to listen with her, how she might like this song, or just that generalized pang of missing her.  Grief, as I’m calling my experience today, comes up in the nostalgia of an old song.  I’ve also had it come up recently in the familiarity of a stranger’s eyes meeting mine, and in a topic of conversation that had me suddenly faced with my relationship with my lost loved one in a context I hadn’t yet verbalized.

What has changed for me over time is the quality of my heart’s response when grief comes up.  I can be in the experience for longer, the edges aren’t so sharp, they sometimes seem to even hold me.  And in that holding I feel love.  Not necessarily the love I’d like to feel right now, not a carefree, fluttery, joyful love, but nonetheless a love that tugs at my heart and reminds me of my own capacity to feel deeply.  A love that is at least a consolation in the vast, sometimes uncharted, inner landscape of grief’s reach.  And I have a pretty killer record collection, which I know she would dig <3