Friday, December 17, 2010

The power of music

Bryan LOVED music. He could literally listen to his ipod all day long. It was not just a passion of Bryan's, it was his life... He spent most of his free time researching new bands/artists and playing his guitar. Music was Bryan's muse, his relaxation, his life's story and his emotions... it flowed through every pore in his body and radiated out his limbs.

Bryan's passion for music ignited his interest and love for dance. If you were ever fortunate enough to watch Bryan dance... you are considered one of the very lucky ones. The first time that I attended one of Bryan's dance competitions...I was in 10th grade... and I fell in love. He did not just memorize the moves... he became the dance... he became the song. His body told the story... he expressed his emotions through his movements... he made me feel what he was feeling.

After Bryan passed away I tried hard to distance myself from his music. Every time I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of him I would get sick to my stomach. So, for the first year... I ignored music almost completely. It was not until I attended the Dave Matthews Band concert this past summer (my first concert ever) that I was able to let Bryan's music back in.

Listening to his music sparks so many memories and feelings for me. It was such a huge part of his life... of our life. When I listen to "Flake" by Jack Johnson I can see him sitting on our couch playing his guitar... when I hear "Son's Gonna Rise" by Citizen Cope I am back in the passenger seat of our car driving to the hospital to deliver Owen... when "Rocky Raccoon" by the Beatles comes on my ipod I picture Bryan in his high school letter jacket sitting next to me in his car... when "Days like this" by Van Morrison pops up in my itunes I am back on the lake, in the boat, fishing with Bryan... when "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley plays on Owen's playlist I remember Bryan rocking Owen to sleep and singing him that song.

So many memories... and most of them are all set to song. I have spent some of the most memorable moments of my life immersed in music.

Since music was so important to Bryan, I wanted to make sure to incorporate it into Owen's life as well. I wanted to expose Owen to all the different genres and let him choose what songs were going to be his muse... his life story. But, before I could even introduce Owen to music... he showed me that like his father, he was born loving it. When Owen hears a song that he likes... it is like the music just flows through his body and he is compelled to dance.

Although it is still difficult for me to listen to Bryan's music... I know that I have to... I know that we have to. While it is hard and I still cannot get through a song without crying, I know that at some point it will be soothing and comforting to me.

I want Owen to be able to feel those same emotions his father felt when he listened to his music... I want Owen to be able to get a glimpse into the kind of man his father was through the lyrics in the songs that he liked... through the beats that made him move... and through the melodies that made him sing.

While I was writing this blog, I listened to Bryan's ipod... and here are some of the few songs that stood out to me... that reminded me of the man that I fell in love with... that reminded me of my Bryan.

Elliott Smith
- Angeles (This was his go to homework song)
- The Morning After (One of our many love songs)

Jack Johnson (One of Bryan's favorite artists)
- Flake (He like to play this song on his guitar)
- Taylor (One of the first songs he learned on his guitar)
- Bubble Toes (The first song Bryan "dedicated" to me)

Citizen Cope
- Son's Gonna Rise (Bryan played this song while we drove to the hospital to have Owen)
- Let the drummer kick that (Bryan loved dancing to this song... he couldn't help it)

Dave Matthews Band
- Grey Street (He always listened to this in the car)
- Stay or Leave (Another one of our favorite songs)
- You and me (He loved dancing with me to this one... in our kitchen)
- Proudest Monkey (Bryan loved singing this song... no matter where we were when he heard it)
- The Stone (He loved the intro to this song... probably one of his favorite songs by Dave)
- Crush (Another one of our many love songs)

Ben Harper
-Morning Yearning (He loved this song and listened to it all the time)

Cat Stevens
- Wild World (We would drive around in his car in high school to this song)
- Peace Train (Bryan loved singing this song to me)

Beatles (His favorite band)
- Something (Bryan wanted to dance to this song at our wedding)
- Black Bird (He picked me up for our first date while he was listening to this song)
- Here comes the sun (This song always put him in a good mood)
- Rocky Raccoon (He listened to this all the time in high school... I used to make fun of him for that)

Mason Jennings
- Empire Builder (Bryan played this song all the time... and I mean all the time)
- Lemon Grove Avenue (Bryan sang this song a lot on our car rides home to MN)

Monsters of Folk
- Say Please (He discovered this band the summer he passed away and really liked this song)

Arcade Fire
- Wake up (Bryan loved the book where the Wild Things Are... he really liked this song that went along with the movie)

Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Parallel Universe (He head banged to this song every time it came on... he loved it)

Van Morrison
- Days like this (We listened to a lot of Van Morrison on the boat)

- The Good Life (Bryan loved dancing to this song... and singing it. But he was usually doing it in a very animated and goofy way)

My Morning Jacket (Another one of Bryan's favorite bands)
- It Beats For You (Our song)
- Wordless Chorus (This was his chill song... it always relaxed him)


  1. Beautifully written and definitely something I can relate to. Bittersweet tears to water our pain.

  2. Your posts are absolutely beautiful and heart wrentching. Came to your blog from Matt Logelin's. I usually have tears in my eyes by the end of each of your posts, but the sweetness of a child dancing to music can't help bring a smile!!