Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't Hold My Imagination Against Me

There are some songs, that when I hear them - whether for the first time or the fortieth - take me to the window seat of an airplane, with me looking out at the wings moving over the landscape below. Those wings press forward with the appearance of slow speed, but I know in the back of my mind how fast the plane actually is traveling. I'm not sure why this happens. I know I have an overactive imagination, and I'm proud of it. But there's no denying that certain songs which sound a certain way take me to that window seat without any conscious coercion on my part. And it's not even the case that these songs which sound a certain way have universally a similar beat or rhythm. Or maybe it is, and I'm just not able to sense the similarities in songs of completely different genres having the same effect on me.

I don't know if it is accurate to say that these songs have some inherent "grandness" or "grand sweeping sound" about them, a quality that makes them seem bigger than life in my imagination - even magical, I posit. A proficiency at "accuracy in guessing" is something I've yet to attain, so don't hold my imagination against me here. I do know, however, how I feel about plane travel. I love it. Though I am aware of the laws of science which keep an aircraft aloft, I still feel there is something...well, something magical, otherworldly, about flying. It doesn't hurt that, as Superman has pointed out more than once, "Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel." But additionally, I find plane trips to be a source of inspiration. And to me, to be inspired - to feel inspired...that's a magical thing.

One thing these songs I speak of do, in their own way, is inspire me. Not always in a specific way, but in some way. In certain songs, it's the lyrics; in others, the music. In still others, both together work their unbidden magic on me and, wherever I am - even if my feet are planted firmly on the ground, or I am a passenger in a car - I'm taken to that plane seat. And not always immediately, of course - sometimes, it's the second listening that does the trick, though I know I connected with the song in some way or other during the first listening. Combine plane travel, which is one source of inspiration for me, with another, say one of those songs that I connect with in that special way, and the result is...or connection is...

If you haven't already caught on, I'm doing something habitual for me - I'm working out my thoughts on the matter as I write about that matter.

"Why planes?" you may wonder. "Why not picture yourself on a mountain top, or viewing a beautiful sunset on a beach?" If you recall, however, I noted earlier that when I "go" to this imaginary airplane, it is not due to any conscious coercion by me. It just happens. Many times I have myself wondered "Why planes?", but since I usually don't get an answer, I just accept that my "happy place" is in the seat of a jet airliner flying...flying somewhere. I can tell you, in any case, that this phenomenon has not always affected me. The first time I experienced it was sometime in the first half of 2006, as an Israel Railways passenger on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line, while listening to - you guessed it - a song. No, not the song/video accompanying this blog entry.

And it's happened countless times since then.

What about those times when, either thanks to an airline's entertainment system or due to my having brought aboard my iPod, I get a chance to listen to one of my "imaginary plane flight songs" on an actual plane flight? Is it magical? Is it inspirational? Is it both? Does it happen often? Is the effect the same? Enhanced? Or does the experience, the reality, change things - and negate the imaginary? Tell you what: I'll leave it to your imagination to divine the answer(s). In the meantime, like I said, don't hold my imagination against me. It's done great things for me, and...who knows?...maybe it'll do something great for you one day, too.


Artisis said...

Hey bro, I really Love to read your writing. I think that's one thing you and I have in common, that we both like to write and also read. But it's the writing that's inspirational, I love it. If i'm in any sort of mood, I'll just sit down, without any predetermined ideas of what i'll write, and I just start and I usually cant stop for a while. By reading your writing, I get to learn about you, and gain insight that I couldn't by just talking with you, though we can now have intellectual conversations now somewhat, I feel a sort of 'magical' connection by writing and by reading your writing. Anyways, i don't have a chance to go online often, so when I do, i'll leave you a message. Love you and keep writing, though I don't need to tell you that.

jjew said...

Hey Jerome, sounds like a religious experience. This is such a dynamic experience that you are right in describing it as "..." I prefer to categorize it as "dangerously beautiful music," just enough to make me feel as if I'm going to tip over the edge, like a glass of milk that's been overfilled. This type of writing is also very therapeutic it seems. Don't forget that I'm in Israel! Next time you're here you'll know where to find me - I live in Bet Hakerem. Later, your pal, Yaniv...