Monday, May 25, 2009


On the nights that I don't want to listen to Coast to Coast AM, I turn on the local (if you can call Sacramento "local") NPR radio station to listen to jazz while I wind my way to dreamland.

I love jazz music. Now, I probably wouldn't be able to rattle off artists and their corresponding records, singles, and hit pieces. No, I'm not that prolific. All I know is that I like it. Jazz music just transports me - it takes me to different places in the world and different places in time.

On Saturday night, the particular pieces NPR played took me to rainy Portland, Oregon. I could just imagine myself walking down the streets, the rain drizzling down. I remembered a little vegetarian cafe I ate at while there, and an art store I popped into. The music surrounded me with my memories of Portland - it was the next best thing to being there.

Earlier last week, the selections played took me to New York City. The frenetic energy. The panic felt when my friends and I were afraid we spent too much time at the restaurant and might miss the opening act of Rent. The nights spent in the hotel with the window open, listening to the city sounds below.

There have been times that the music has brought me to heart places instead of physical places - when the notes open up the rawness of losing my last love or the heart-wrenching moment I realized he was cheating on me. Sometimes the notes strum a strong desire of wanting - playing my heart and opening it up to love. Other times, the notes take me to childhood, to lazy afternoons spent laying on the grass and watching the clouds go by.

Sure, many nights I spend my last waking moments listening to George Noory fielding calls about Big Foot or shadow men. But I think my favorite nights are those that take me to magical faraway places right before the sandman hits.

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