They tell me smell is the strongest sense linked with memory. This is sometimes hard for me to believe. At least until I happen across a soap that smells like a Mexican laundromat or a scent that reminds me of my childhood friend's house. But the times when I'm eating hummus on pita or listening to a rooster crow, having my hair played with or when I catch a glimpse of a stranger's eyes shockingly close to an old crush's, it seems as though though senses are at least strong competition.
Music is such a amazingly easy link to times in my life. Some will evoke specific feelings. For years a particular RS James c.d. reminded me exactly of laying on my top bunk reading Trixie Beldens. A first song on a Audio Adrenaline cd still can make me feel like I'm sixteen, waking up at 5:00 to hop on my bike and head down to an orchard.
More often the feelings are less specific. Arab music brings about an emotion in me I can only rationalize belongs in the Middle East. Whereas a call to prayer would transport me directly back to a Turkish hostel and all that time bore. Doubtlessly hearing hindi pop will remind me of the colour and life of India that defies description. music Quebecois managed to lodge an appreciation in me through Katimavik. Several songs will draw back direct feelings of walking the house, the fun, the discovery of Quebec... But mostly when I type Les Cowboys Frigants or Mes Aieux into YouTube I quite simply get subtle indicators that I was somewhere that taught me to do so. Country music is the soundtrack to this smalltown, whether I've bought into it or not.
So many feelings. Such a vast vast array having passed through my life. And so many millions I've never even discovered. How to fit as many as possible in? One life? How can it possibly be enough? Can anyone else know the exact feeling of climbing to the top of a maple tree on a clear morning and shivering in cold loneliness? The rush of losing control at the top of a stunt bike jump in the middle of a cow pasture? The warm glow of pulling off cold boots and moving towards the fireplace after a frustrating milking? And what about what I haven't experienced. Sex, piercings, skydiving, academia, intoxication, hunting, China... Even the ones I avoid. The ones I don't want...
I suppose there must be a cap on it somewhere. Maybe they're all just simple variations of ten base emotions. But I'm not even aware of the intensity of what I'm feeling until I'm reminded of it.
What will it be? The feelings of being a lost 23 year old blogger listening to flyleaf?