I had a dream last night in which I listened to a bunch of music, violating my Lenten vow. I felt awful when I woke up, thinking about what a horrible person I was for not carrying through on something so small.
Thank goodness it was just a dream.
Lent has been a really good thing for me this year. I feel like it's actually doing what it is supposed to do - bring me closer to Christ. Forsaking the use of written commas, while fun and excellent material for stories, wasn't especially useful to me in that regard. I'm finding myself more able to focus on things that really matter to me instead of playing a segment of an Arcade Fire song over and over in my head, trying to remember what that one lyric was. (It was "from my window to yours," in case you were wondering. "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnel).") The biggest problem I've encountered, though, is that removing music from my life has created a fairly substantial vacuum in my brain. Anything and everything gets stuck in my head now that there's no music to push it out. I get things like ringtones in my head now (such as Robert Poste's ringtone, which is the Toreador March from Bizet's Carmen), as well as the theme music from NPR's Business Morning. It's a bit ridiculous, but I think a relatively clear mind is worth the cost of having random bits of music stuck in my head.
I made a conscious decision not to choose a "last song" before starting my Lenten silence, if only because it seems trite and cliche to do so. Actively choosing a last song also seems to defeat the purpose. I'm trying to reduce the importance of music in my life. Deciding that I want to enter Lent with Hot Chip or Sun Kil Moon in my head keeps me just as connected. It's like I'm trying to endure Lent rather than embrace it, and since I'm going into it willingly, it seems a bit ridiculous to try to keep a foot in both camps.
That's not to say that I don't miss my music, though. I do. I bought a new (well, new to me) Andrew Bird CD yesterday while I was out running errands. Would that I could have listened to it. Instead, I lent it to krebscout for the next couple of weeks so she can find out if it's worth my listening to or not. (Based on a conversation with her last night, it seems like it is.) I'm also going to pick up a couple of tickets to see him in concert so Genuine Draft and I can see him in Portland. I'm still just as much of a fan as ever. I just want to realign my priorities in my life, and I think Lent's as good a time as any to do just that.
Here's hoping it works.