“So be on the lookout; this book is far from My only tool. You may ask a question, then put this book down. But watch. Listen. The words to the next song you hear. […] I will show you then that I have always been there. All ways.”
–Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue
by Neale Donald Walsh
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Have you ever heard a song but found it uninteresting enough for your taste so you ignored it and eventually forgot about it? I bet you have. It happens all the time, right? But have you ever experienced getting attracted to a song you have previously ignored because you did not find it striking the first time you heard it? Nothing has changed. It’s exactly the way you encountered it the first time – it hasn’t been remixed, rendered by another artist, or performed in another way. It is still that same old song, and yet, it sounds completely different. You feel like you’re hearing it for the first time. And I’m not talking about a song that “grows on you,” but one that you-have-heard-countless-times-for-a-considerable-length-of-time-but-still-intentionally-ignored type.
It always amuses me how that almost always occur to me. There’s “A Crow Left Of The Murder” (track) by Incubus, Lamb’s “Best Kept Secrets” album, or Death Cab For Cutie, just to name a few. I had heard these songs/albums/artists numerous times before, but it took me years before I finally really heard and appreciate them. It was like all of a sudden, they grabbed my ears and told me, “Hey, we’ve got something to say to you. Listen up!”
A similar incident occurred recently, this time with French indie band, Phoenix and acoustic act, Indigo Girls. Let’s start with the former.
I first learned of Phoenix’s existence sometime mid 2000s, thanks to MTV, who usually aired their videos during the wee hours of the morning. They initially didn’t appeal to me, so much so that I could not remember how their songs went and didn’t even bother to know the titles. All I knew were their name and some bits and pieces of their music videos. Fast forward to present, the band released another video. Again, I usually caught it being played in the wee hours of the morning and same as before, couldn’t even remember a single note of their song. This time though, I was able to remember the title – “Lisztomania” mainly because I was familiar with Liszt’s name. Intrigued with their reference to Liszt in their song, I decided to check them out.
Since I did not know their songs, I had to check out their videos first so I could ascertain which songs I already “knew.” When I finally got to know their titles, I downloaded them along with a few other tracks. I played them all; and “for the first time,” I was hearing them. It was actually strange because I instantly got hooked on a song, and it was not even finished yet. The lyrics particularly got me because they seemed to be speaking to me. One seemed to say, “I know how you feel. Been there, done that. You’re not alone,” and the others seemed to say, “Look, this is what I think you should do.” Other tracks simply urged me to relax, dance (hehe) and enjoy the moment (things I neglect to do, particularly the last one.)
As with Indigo Girls, I have known the song, “Galileo” a long time ago, even as early as mid 90s. I actually liked its tune, but never really
affected me until it popped up in my head a few weeks ago. For some strange reasons, I just felt taking another listen to it, but this time more intently and even taking some time to really get to know it. As it turned out, it was something that discussed a topic that hit home – “how long ‘til my soul gets it right?” the song asked. I, on the other hand, nodded my head in agreement. Precisely my sentiment as well! I never knew! I mean, I’ve been singing that song for years, but have never really sung it until now.
It just feels weird and amazing at the same time when something like this happens. I just can’t help but wonder sometimes what other things, opportunities, or even persons, I am unable to see and appreciate. But then again, as some say, sometimes, one doesn’t really see things until they are ready to see them.
Our heads may be clouded at times with questions and worries, but I believe that there are indeed signs or messages all around us, helping us to resolve a dilemma, pacify our worried selves, or aid us in decision-making. Sometimes, they are there to purely inspire us, make us smile, or give advice. They take different forms – they may be photographs, lines of a song or book, a dialogue in a movie, a sign on the billboard, a graffiti, a line on a jeepney’s estribo, or even a leaf falling.
Messages are everywhere. We just need to learn to recognize them.