Around & Around We Go: Different=Same=Different

Think Kit, Day 4,582. I mean, Day 12. “Try something different.”

As a college senior, I had my own dorm room. This was probably because I was gone the first half of the school year studying abroad (that classy broad, London), and the housing department decided to be gracious and not torture me with a companion the last semester of my college career. THANK YOU, COLLEGE I WENT TO! You da best.

Without a roommate to get mad at me, I was free to behave as I wished, namely, to shut off all off the lights in my room, turn up The Velvet Teen’s Elysium (usually “A Captive Audience“), lie on the floor and let the waves of music wash over me.

That’s not weird.

Yesterday, Burial’s new EP came out, and as I blogged yesterday, I wanted to recreate my college days floor routine (like a gymnast!). I didn’t end up getting to do so yesterday, but thought maybe I ought to give that a whirl tonight as my attempt at a routine-buster. Though I’ve done this before, it’s not been for, gulp, 8ish years. Now I ingest my music with other activies, always: music while I’m driving. Music while I’m working. Music while I’m cooking. Music while I blog. It’s never just music. It’s just background noise, often just a soundtrack for the banal.


I lie on the cold living room floor, head on a pillow, covered by my kids’ fleece lady bug print blanket.

The loud music, applied, for once, distraction-free, is exactly what I need: an assault on my senses. Brain bludgeoned by an onslaught of sound, but not numb. Brain prodded, awake now.

My eyes scan the ceiling; I feel like a newborn as I fix my gaze on the ceiling fan. Maybe that’s why they seem to like them–it’s the only thing up there to look at.

The light from the Christmas tree in the corner is dappling the ceiling, the faux texture reminding me of my grandmother’s house. A house that recently sold. A house I’ll never set foot in again, but that I see now in the projection of a memory.

And now I am realizing that I love doing this, that I love lying on the floor in a puddle of sound because it reminds me of growing up.

The new thing I have set out to experience is resonating with me because it’s referencing the old. Or I’m making it–we can’t help ourselves; we want everything in our lives to fit, to make sense. This is one of the primary reasons I write creative nonfiction–I am obsessed with what happens when a bunch of seemingly disparate events, details, people, ideas, whatever, live together in a piece of writing and, by their juxtaposition and coexistence, come to mean something new.

Now, the new comes from the old. Yet, the old can come from the new.

Is life really this symbiotic, this cyclical? How curious! How weird! How cool.

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