Do you know that album by U2, from long ago?
I might be dating myself to say that The Joshua Tree was the one I’ll always associate most with the Irish group, even though I only owned it on non-easily portable vinyl back in the day. I had Achtung Baby on tape, or maybe CD, or possibly both. At any rate, although Achtung went in the car with me, in my twenties, before I was married and had children, when I was almost always alone when I drove, and I could belt them out full-throated and full-lunged, windows down and other drivers looking at me a little strangely – it’s the clear tones, the poetry, The Edge’s guitar with its unmistakable sound, that I remember most.
That, and that stark black and white image in the album cover…the band, with the tree.
The desert tree that didn’t look truly real to me, the same way the sun’s appearance at the poles, or the reversal of seasons on the other side of the equator, didn’t seem truly real, even though I knew that they were.
I decided I needed to someday see a Joshua tree for myself, to find out if they truly existed.
Years later, when my Accomplice and I finished his twelfth, and my only, season at the Grand Canyon, we decided to take the scenic route to visit with his family in Oregon, and we added Joshua Tree National Park to our itinerary.
I finally got to see Joshua trees close up. Many of them. I got to touch them -albeit carefully. I got to see them live, in their native environment, the Mojave Desert.
Sometimes music gives us more than what exists in the moment we listen to it…sometimes, it can transport us not just emotionally, or through imagery, but can actually provide the impetus that moves us physically through time and space.
It’s not the first time that’s happened to me. From the time I was four, until well into my teens, my favorite song was “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver. I memorized it, and sang it, sitting on the floor with my ear pressed up to one of the speakers of my folks’ console stereo/bar. I don’t think it’s purely coincidental that I took a job in the western mountains when I was 27, or that it changed my life to do so – you might say I was born again, out there, and, although I came home, it was as a different, more elemental and seasoned version of the person I’d been.
This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For other jubilant and jaunty “J” posts, just click the banner below!
Do you have music that acted as a catalyst on your life – that led you to places or experiences you might not have otherwise? Feel free to share your stories and links, so we can all listen! =D And, to keep things fair, here’s mine!