Yesterday, my sister and I gave my mum a tape recorder. Yes, it’s like going back twenty, thirty years. The reason is that she has all these tapes that she wants to play again. She phoned last night sounding happy. Her old favourite Don Francisco was blaring in the background.
When life is hard, or even when it’s not, music can transform us, changing the way we get through the day. I always select my music very carefully when I’m writing. Hard scenes need sad songs, resolutions need something uplifting. When I was writing my book set in Nice, I listened to Counting Crows a lot because that was the CD I brought with me when I lived there. When I’m cooking the dinner, there has to be lively music to keep me on my feet.
I’m always eager to find things that lift me out of my MS doldrums. Music is up there without a shadow of a doubt. It has an uncanny way of unlocking tears, daydreams and even prayers. It can make the ‘same old’ feel romantic, exciting or significant. If things seem unremarkable, terrifying, discouraging or just boring, add a little music and find the remarkable, reassuring, exciting key to your survival. Somehow, getting up, going to work or school, doing whatever you do can all be enlivened with music. If you don’t do it already, go hunt out your old songs or discover new ones, and start a more colourful, noisy life.