Music and Memories

What would you do over?

I could list a handful of definites: things I think I would do over a different way if I had the knowledge that I have now. I think all of us can. All of those definites would, I think, place me completely into a different place in life than I am now. Others would have kept me away from annoyingly negative effects (for example, I would have driven more slowly as I came upon a certain police cruiser last week…).

Music had its power over me today. I heard one of those songs that form such a powerful association with you that you’re picked up and taken away from where you are and back to where you were…in this case, with a specific person. There are a lot of wishes I could make…some to do over, some to not do at all. In this particular case, I was just left wondering what ever happened to someone I knew years ago.

What happened to me today isn’t all that unusual, though. Honestly, it happens quite a bit. In fact, I have specific songs in my library because I know they will transport me like that, and I honestly just want to vividly remember the people and events of which they trigger memories. Music has an enormous associative ability to do so, and, as a result, music often leaves me pondering the exact question I was pondering today: would I really have done certain things over?

For some reason, that question almost always centers around my undergrad days, possibly because I’ve looked back on them with a certain mystique and nostalgia over the past few years. The answer that I’m left with is always the same: I’m not sure. For all of the positive changes that I could arrange for my life by somehow traveling back and preventing myself from doing things that were either overtly stupid, or things that just really seemed like a good idea at the time, I think that there’s also a sort of curse that would be associated with knowing the future, with knowing the outcomes of all of your potential actions before deciding which ones to take.

For all of my fellow Dr. Who nerds, you may recall that, when visiting Pompeii with Donna, the Doctor mentions that there are certain things in the timestream that can be altered, and others that are cast in stone. The ones that are cast in stone must be left to happen, regardless of his ability to change them, because they simply must be. His curse as a Time Lord was always being able to know which was which.

I’m not sure I want that curse, because, as disappointed as I am with my past decisions at times, I know that they were formative to who I am today. There’s so much about my life that I could never have predicted, that has turned out beautifully. There’s so much that I know still will, providentially, without my being able to see now how that might occur.

Even if I could have the ability to know or to have a “re-do,” I don’t think I would want it. I think its an issue of faith, because, even at the end of a Monday, I have to believe that “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

I hope it turns out well with your week, also.

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