I had no idea how powerful the experience would be. I think I will continue to do it, one year at a time.
A “Hits of 1971” web search brought up some interesting options, and one offered 100 tunes from the year that carried me from freshman to sophomore year in high school. The time travel proved to be more poignant than I imagined, providing several elements to my lens of memory creating sharp recollections of the experiences. They also helped me to more accurately pin down memories from a range of years to a specific year, which then connects them to particular other memories involving people, places and things.
The tunes, all but three of which I remembered, formed a hall pass to roam the old halls of school without disruption, a passport to journey to locations of events long since passed, and a telescope to look far back in time to the wonderful life of a not-yet-able-to-drive-boy-looking-toward-manhood from the perspective of a man who next week will register for Medicare. The songs made for a stress-free time trek.
As much as I love nostalgia and nostalgic feelings, the goal of listening to more than three hours of music was not to stir such feelings. I needed a waypoint, more accurately, to review the waypoint (A point between major points on a route, as along a track.) of the year that brought me into the sophomore stage, not forgetting that sophos (Gr: wise) and moros (Gr: foolish) aptly describes that phase of life.
Life is about moments. Remember the moments. Time travel with whatever method is available to you to recall how you made it from one phase to another, and how you grew each step of the way. Someday you will look back at the time that is now and smile as music plays, wondering how you made it through this time and proud of the wisdom you’ve gained along the way. I think anew of what my mom and dad may have thought as they listened to Big Band era songs. I wished I could ask them.
Next up, the music of 1974 (high school graduation) and a tour of websites that sell candy from my elementary school years. Between those points will be memories of a blessed life. What waypoints will you review?