The first CD I ever purchased was bought in Michigan. There was a Tower Records across the street from campus and some interesting, strange, ethereal music was playing in the store while I was browsing. My head was in another place as the combination of sounds and sight — wandering through aisles of talent and stardom, even the smell of printed album sleeves — was slightly intoxicating. The vibe was good, the day was lazy. I love music stores.
“What am I hearing?” I asked one of the associates. He checked, and they were playing an album called “Everest” by Off and Gone.
I bought it, played it in my off-campus apartment that summer as well as my dorm that fall, but I couldn’t get that inspired feeling again.
Do you ever try to recreate an emotional state — a day or a time in your life — and fail miserably? I have, and it’s frustrating beyond belief. Why can’t all the good times be relived? Why is it a struggle to put things back in a particular order?
My take on this is that inspiration is what it is. It can’t be duplicated, cloned, bottled or copied in any fashion. It’s a one-time deal, even though you might experience a similar sensation during similar circumstances at any point in your life. Inspiration is meant to be a catalyst, and any recreation defeats the purpose. Inspiration wants us to seek more of it, not relive a moment that’s passed.
Tonight I am thankful for the memory of Off and Gone, for that day shopping at Tower Records and for the way I felt in tune with and relaxed by the music around me. The memory is a nice reminder that being in the moment can often yield inspiration we didn’t know we were looking for, while being outside of a moment and trying to recreate the past will often leave us wanting more.
Here’s to being present in all our moments.