Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Music, Food and Memory

Music and food have been such a meaningful part of my life that sometimes I have certain memories associated w/ them which I find impossible to separate.

My Mom says that to this day, she can't stand to see the bottle of Ivory liquid sitting on the sink, because the mere sight of it still recalls for her the morning sickness she had when she was pregnant over 35 years ago.

And me, whenever I think of meatloaf, I think of the last time I ate some - and how I later that night ended up in the hospital with a fever of 104, sicker than I'd ever been in my life.

Incidentally, this had nothing to do with the meatloaf, and everything to do with the fact that I was suffering complications from a "minor" surgery which turned out to be not minor at all, and ended up changing my life and my health in ways that I never could have anticipated.

And then, there is music that still stops me dead in my tracks - I can't listen to the Guided By Voices album Isolation Drills without feeling very, very sad for someone who's memory this evokes in me, a person who is no longer in my life. I would love to be brave and compassionate enough to call this person and tell them how much space they still occupy in my heart, but my pride won't let me. Instead, sometimes I just play this album and let the sadness overtake me. And I think of how easy it is to lose your appetite when you're full of pride.

And whenever I listen to Low, I think of another person, who is still very much in my life, but with whom my relationship has changed many times over since the very first time we ever listened to Low together. At certain times in my life, I can listen to Low and think of that person and feel calm and loving, and at other times I can listen to Low and think of that person and find myself crying my guts out for all the ways I miss everything that I've shared with this person - but regardless, I can never think of Low without thinking of this person. They are woven together, inseparable.

I can never smell garlic without thinking of my family - of my parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts, but particularly, my grandmother. Fortunately, this is a very comforting feeling. Also fortunately, I cook with garlic almost every single day, so I get a lot of mileage out of this comfort.

Then there is the very distinct reaction I get from cucumber "scented" soap - the Method brand, to be exact. I can't ever smell that without thinking of someone who is no longer in my life, and with whom things ended very badly - it smells like a mixture of loss and pride and anger and sadness; all of these things fill my gut when I get just the slightest whiff of that smell, and so naturally, I do my best to avoid it at all costs.

In those times, the best remedy is mincing garlic, because garlic smells like home, and that is the best remedy for sadness.

2 comments:

MarthaScarborough said...

can you reprint the link for the quick and easy noose made from kitchen twine and cooked linguine?

how long does one leave one's head in the oven?

SNAP out of it Loretta!!!!

Soup and Song said...

No, and no.

It's my blog and I can wax nostalgic if I wanna. Go be cheerful in your own damn blog which we're all waiting for you to start!

And my name's not Loretta but for the record, I HAVE snapped out of it.

So there.