A Clockwork Orange

Good music can be very distracting during a yoga class. For me. While I’m teaching.

If I make a playlist of awesome songs that I love, I sometimes get caught up in the words and lose my train of thought. Good music messes with my flow.

So I try to stick with playlists of songs that I don’t absolutely love. Mellow music. Instrumentals. Classical. Ambient sounds. Mantras.

There is one classical song on my current playlist rotation that has become a distraction.

Whenever I catch an earful of it during class I always feel deeply saddened. If I let my ears linger on it, I almost want to cry. It takes me somewhere; to the edge of a deep, dark sadness, and images try to form in my head, but they can’t quite come clear.

For weeks now the song has been haunting me. Where have I heard it before? Why does it make me feel so very very sad?

Listen to it. It’s lovely. Sweet. A bit sad, yes. But why does it wrench my gut?

Today, before class, I was alone in the studio. I plugged my iPhone in and turned the volume up. This song began to play.

I decided to sit with my sadness. To let the images come. I closed my eyes and really listened. I breathed the music into my nose. I let it swirl around behind my eyebrows. I breathed it into my lungs and let it wrap around my heart.

And then it came to me. In flashes. I remember where I had heard the song, not once but at least several dozen times. I realized why it was making me sad.

It is the soundtrack of one of the saddest movie scenes in the history of sad movie scenes; the death of Sergeant Elias, in Platoon.

It is amazing how the mind works. That song and that scene somehow forever locked together in the depths of my mind. A buried connection, that I managed to dig up in a moment of meditation.

It is amazing how music works. Stamping itself on images, wrapping itself around memories, finding ways to live on in our heads and hearts forever.

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