Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live with a Franciscan focus.
(And one of these days I'll fix the template and add a Search feature. :-P)

21 June 2014

"Rewind the future to the past" 

Image source: 'General Photos'

If you're connected with me over on Google+, you may, perchance, have picked up on my love of metal. ;-P If you're not: Hello, my name is Lisa, and I'm a metalhead.

Aaaand if you're subsequently wondering how it came to be that a Secular Franciscan loves metal (because of course, don't all Franciscans frolic through the forest while listening to folk tunes?), here's the scoop.

Way back when I was a wee tiny girl -- I'm talking maybe first or second grade -- my older cousins introduced me to rock/metal. Whenever we visited 'em, they'd play me tracks from groups they liked, such as KISS, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, and others. The intensity and virtuosity of that stuff blew away everything else I'd heard, and I was immediately hooked.

The first was KISS, which was fine and all, but it wasn't until Sabbath -- specifically "N.I.B." -- that my innards reverberated and I was absolutely floored. I mean, gobsmacked, amazed, what-in-the-hell-IS-this-wondrousness?! floored.

Naturally, Sabbath led to Ozzy's solo stuff. And Ozzy led to Metallica. While those were The Big Ones for me, of course I listened to and loved a bunch of others. It didn't last long, however, because in my teens, I got it into my head that listening to such music was Wrong*, so I stopped. Cold. Tossed out all my music and band shirts and everything.

Shortly after, when I went off to college, I engaged in a scorched-earth policy and made a conscious, deliberate effort to burn from my memory everything from my life before college. I had an effed-up childhood from age 9 on, and I decided that the best thing to do was purge everything up to that point. Now, obviously, you can't give yourself total amnesia, but I gave it my best shot. In hindsight, I know it's not a wise or healthy strategy, and I deeply regret it because I essentially cut myself off from ... myself. However, at 17 years old, it seemed like the best course of action.

So, that willful forgetting further submerged my love of metal, and as far as music went, I instead dove into all things orchestral and other genres like big band, chamber, concert band, brass ensembles, opera, and choral. Oh, I liked (and still do) them well enough -- I'm not dissing any. It's just that none ever approached the resonance that metal had. But by then, I'd forgotten about that resonance ... in a sense, I didn't realize what I was missing.

Years and years passed.

That musical love would've very most likely remained buried if it hadn't been for a pal's frequent mentions in Google+ of current rock/metal bands, like Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch. I'd see those blip by, and finally, my curiosity kicked in and I thought, well, let's have a bit of a listen ...

... and then it all rushed back. The intense reverb in my innards from listening to kickass metal; how I completely flipped out over Sabbath as a girl; the amazement at first hearing/seeing Metallica; the jaw-dropping wonder of guitar riffs ... all of it.

That was a couple years ago, and since then I've been scrambling to make up for lost time by listening again to the groups/artists I love -- and finding new-to-me-ones -- every chance I get. It's like those movies where a character lurches through an endless desert and finally stumbles into an oasis, where he gratefully sucks down huge quantities of water. I just can't get enough.

In this catching up, I've no set pattern or plan with who and what I've been listening to. Lots of everything, all mixed in ... but with occasional long stretches devoted to a particular band.

But earlier today, I realized ... there actually is a bit of a pattern with those long stretches: I've been working my way backwards through my metal musical loves. As a girl, I'd progressed Sabbath to Ozzy to Metallica. As an adult, I've been going Metallica to Ozzy to Sabbath.

And as I've been traveling back down my personal music timeline, I've realized something else: The music has helped me unlock memories -- even non-music-related ones -- that I wouldn't have otherwise retrieved. As Sabbath sings, it's helped me "rewind the future to the past". I never expected that.

... So yeah, fine, it's "just music". But for me, it's a bit more than that. And I'm grateful.


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* Back then, I had a serious "follower" personality, and I had a friend who was very much a "follow meeee!" person. When we were teens, she had a "born again" experience, and so I was heavily influenced by her views. That influence is how I came to feel that metal/rock was Way Bad Eeeeevil Stuffs which I had no choice but to purge from my life. So, I mistakenly did.

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