Sunday, June 15, 2014

lucis et musicae ♫♪♫

In the conscious interval which we refer to as real life, one of my past part-time occupations was making liquor deliveries for a wholesaler. At the time, I was in my twenties, and making my living by working three or more part-time jobs, at three different times of the day. Not always on the same day, but there were times I got off my 8-hour night shift job as a hotel clerk, and barely had time to change into the clothes of a liquor truck driver, for an 8-hour shift of throwing around cases of booze. I could do this because I was in my twenties, but sometimes after being up 24 hours or more, things began to look kind of vivid and dream-like.

One customer stop was a large liquor retailer occupying the entire building of a re-purposed J.C. Penney store built in the 1940s. The entire lower level was used as a warehouse, and not open to the public. There was a very wide stairway to bump the cart full of cases down (gently of course - Bob our boss really hates the smell of pre-maturely dispensed liquor on the customer's floor, because the customer won't pay for that, and Steve would start yelling...). Most delivery destinations had dark, narrow uneven wooden stairways to squirrel away their extra cases, but the lower level of the old Penney's had been used as retail space. The building
was built into the side of a hill - this gave a delightful surprise - as you arrive in the basement, you are greeted huge windows spilling glorious amounts of morning sunshine into the lower level.  

So, one fine day in the late 1970s, I was walking into the light, rolling a hand truck with a stack of brandy cases over to the pallet area where the brandy was stored. The unexpected brilliance of the basement was in its own way uplifting. When you haven't slept in 24 hours, the oddest things will uplift you. At just that moment, the tinny voice of John Lennon came from a tiny radio somewhere in the basement, singing "Strawberry Fields Forever".  In an unexplained way, the music blends with the sunlight, and becomes one of the most powerful sources of emotional and spiritual liberating energies in existence.  I felt lighter for days. Somehow the music blended with the light had overcharged my senses, arcing at the terminals.

That is a moment I have remembered for the rest of my life. 

One of the things I enjoy most in my interval of existence here on Earth is the delightful way that music blends with the light, smells and events of a moment and preserves the entirety so perfectly. Simply recalling the musical passage can vividly re-store the entire memory, to bring levity and hope to one of life's darker, more silent moments.