I’m sitting on my couch. It’s evening. I’m under a big thick blanket with my lap top on my lap. The fire place is on. Today we had the first slushy, wet, cold snowfall of the season. The song Ola Dika Sou by Giannis Poulopoulos (1968) came on my streamed Greek radio.
And everything stopped.
I was writing a separate blog post. I stopped hitting keys. Turned up the volume. Sat still—like a statue. Instantly I am transported to 2168 Rae Street. The wood paneling. My dad singing in key between puffs of a cigarette—Craven A brand in a red and white package on the table. The hopeful angst of this new immigrant hanging in the air. The lights dim in the evening and the heavy feeling of melancholy.
Did the music carry that weight or was it the memory of my dad at that age that I felt so deeply as a small person new to this country with him and my mom? How important this music must have been in the only language he understood at the time and the choice to bring with his few possessions, records. Records—flat black discs to link him to a familiar home. The only reminders and how powerful this music must have been to instantly transport me today. I can only try and imagine the power of song for him.
My memory spins on.
And then I am in my old house, recently left by my husband and this same album plays but this time on a cd player in the corner. I carry on the history of these songs in the air of my house. Mattress on the floor, candles lit, bravely distracting myself from an imminent divorce and stitching my broken heart together with Giannis Poulopoulos, just like my dad. Different heart aches and different hopes.
These songs, on record, brought with them, the only reminders of home in the early 70’s and oh how powerful music is to instantly transport the reminders when they long heavily for the familiar. And me, instantly, too, transported to their moments, and in my instant, again, magically I am found in this melodic time machine.