No doubt because of some evolving difficult circumstances in my personal life, recent weeks have found me emotionally raw. The most noticeable manifestation of my rawness has been how easily I've found myself triggered by passages in books, scenes in films and especially, penetrating song lyrics. When you are feeling raw, what are some things that can trigger an outsized emotional response from you?
So it was on a recent drive - with a Pandora station I call "Tunesmiths" playing - that Dan Fogelberg's moving tribute to his father, Leader of the Band, delivered the first blow. And I might have recovered from the mournful closing horn interlude in that tune had Jackson Browne's Sky Blue and Black not immediately followed. As Browne repeatedly wailed "...that's the way love is, that's the way love is...sky blue and black" in the coda, my composure began slipping.
When the often cryptic Bob Dylan came next, I thought I'd escaped. Alas, I'd temporarily forgotten the evocative final rhyming couplet preceding Bob's refrain: "I'll see you in the skies above, in the tall grass, in the ones I love; you're gonna make me lonesome when you go." The moment Dylan warbled that lyric, I pulled off the road.
Although long ago I reconciled myself to having an emotional temperament, recent events like what happened on that drive have persuaded me it might be wise to concentrate on instrumental music, at least, for a while anyway.