Today I hooked up a 1980’s Sony Walkman cassette tape player to my speakers. The Walkman warbles along at variable speeds when my thumb clicks the sticky “play” button. And while I certainly wouldn’t argue for the quality of cassette listening, it’s reconnecting me to something nearly thirty-five years old: my tape collection.
These tapes have travelled with me through the years, pushed into tiny, dusty, cassette-sized cubbies in a closet that hasn’t been opened for a long time. Someday I’ll create Spotify playlists out of them, and finally demagnetize these plastic wheeled spools.
Some really great Video found our screens this year, and while it’s getting much harder to narrow down, I’ve managed a Top 10. That’s partly because there is so much more available, but also in this year, there was so much more time available to watch.
But first, music. I love exploring new sounds and artists, hearing new perspectives through soundwaves and lyrics, and this year took me places unexpected.
I’ve gathered my favorites from 2018 and I’m locking them in, “final answer”. I tend to categorize and collect in life, and that may be reflected below. But it’s also because I have such a bad memory, this list is basically a note to myself to remember later. If you’ve liked some of these too, let me know!
(Yes, this was the year of redundant band names, so may as well throw in Now Now)
I’ve been feeling out of control lately. Increasingly aware that loving someone means part of my heart is strapped into the passenger seat of their car. Though seat-belted, there is nothing safe about it. They are at the wheel, and their impulses affect my outcomes.
There is much in life I can control. I like those things. Even if they involve hard work. I can study to learn a skill that takes my career in a new direction. I can, with help from a good counselor, learn to speak up for myself and break the cycle of people pleasing. I can save some money, buy a map, and go on a trip to Ecuador.
Today we visited a church to hear a family we love play music. Man, the music was so good. Filling the small, high ceiling sanctuary were the organs of gospel music and the cadence of Americana. The fat and tender guitar riffs drifted into my soul. God was pressing on me, as he had many times before in worship. It nearly always took the form of tears, and this time was no exception.
Though the music was modern, some of the hymns were not: we sang “Standing on the Promises”, familiar from my childhood days at small Bible Chapels on the east coast. Back in those days, I’d memorized God’s promises from scripture through clubs like Awana: “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. The promises were God’s, given to a different people at a different time, but we were taught to take them on as our own.