This time last week I was getting ready to dash back over to the UK, to London to be precise, to spend some quality time feeling 12 years old again… quite a tall order I set myself since I look and feel every one of my 32 years (although sometimes of course I do act and speak like it to the chagrin of my nearest and dearest!).
Let me explain, 12 years old, to me, is sitting at home, snatching some all too rare quality time with my dad in between his super-important-dad-work-bacon-home-bringing-projects (as I knew them at the time), listening to music. YEP, I know a lot of people say the same, but for me and my dad, some of our best times were sitting listening to music made far away and by, in my view at the time, old guys with weird dress sense, bad hair and beards.
Earlier on in his life my dad had spent some time living in America, and brought home with him an affinity for all kinds of music, but what he shared with me most was of the folk and rock persuasion. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, this has meant that although a good 35 years separates us, I am as at home at a concert with my dad than he is in an outdoor store trying on trousers that zip off into shorts.
So there we were last Sunday, in Hyde Park, dad in his zip off trews and me wearing a playsuit from M&S that made me look every bit like my mum did the first time she went to a gig (everything comes back around doesn’t it!) rocking out with 64,997 other people to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
To those of you who don’t know Tom Petty, check because i’m pretty sure you do….those of you who still don’t after double checking, shame on you. This particular band has been together creating amazing music for longer than I have been alive, but that is not what makes them special to me… that accolade goes to how they make me feel…
From the opening chord I felt simultaneously 12 again and very very old. It has been a while now since I have brought the average age of a concert down, which is great in a way because it shows that good music never gets old, but this gig in particular will stick with me as it made me realise how we change and don’t change, grow and don’t grow, forget and don’t forget. Age becomes irrelevant.
Much like my last post where I talked about how we could be better at borrowing from some of religions rites and rituals to add another colour or dimension to our secular ways of life, so too can music help us recapture some of the feelings of joy, sadness, hope, love, that sometimes we are too busy to really FEEL. I know I rush through life, trying to savour the moments but mostly failing miserably as I push myself more and more to do, achieve, live – all sometimes without really living.
Not much these days transports me in such a vivid way back to my past as that concert did last week. So carving out a Sunday afternoon to watch my dad’s sunhat bobbing up and down, keeping time to the same tunes we were listening to together from the relative discomfort of our Ercol sofa in the 1990’s was time very well spent. It reminded me of what is important, like family, and of the girl I was when I was 12, full of dreams, hope, joy and of course some wicked dance moves.
So, now that I am out in the great wide open, under them skies so blue… and have been for a while, I realise I need to take more care to keep that 12 year old and her attitude with me. With my dad’s knee tapping keeping the beat in the background I’m sure life can be as vivid as ever.