The past few years I have been obsessed with music. Like a teenager. It started when I was still there, I would watch a world music show on international satellite. Lenka, fun Japanese bands in furry costumes, plenty of stuff in English. Of course, he wasn’t home. The children loved it. Later, when we no longer had satellite channels in English, I would pull up things on YouTube by typing in key words like “kids”, “puppies” and the like. This yielded Section Kuchikaschtli and Swedish House Mafia. “Balloons” brought me Teegan and Sara’s version of “Closer”. Oh! The Gummy Bear songs. Fun stuff.
After we left, it was eighteen months before we had YouTube again. The kids were so excited to find all their old favorites. It is amazing that a four year old can remember things so well from a year and a half before. No wonder he has PTSD.
Now the baby “works” at preschool for her time on YouTube. She dumps out boxes of toys, replaces them immediately, and says “Look, look at me, tell my Mommy I clean up for Lenka!” They always tell me, it’s so cute, they can’t forget. She sits so happily in her little pink papazan chair later at home, watching Lenka and ordering us to click on which one should come next.
We are so lucky. To live in a country where the police and the courts care about our safety, the safety of women and children. Where we are not considered to be the property of a man. To be able to see the dreams depicted in the videos of Empire of the Sun, to dream ourselves for a future and then to find it. I am a fan of art now, because it truly lifted me when nothing else could. It reminded me to be alive, to live, to create a future for my children where they could discover and see fantastic things. When everything felt dead to me, and I was trying tamp down my inner self for my very survival, music lived.
Now, when fear strangles my sleep and leaves me restless, I find new songs, new artists, or old ones that remind me of who I was before him. An hour, and I can sleep. It’s magic.
A heartfelt thank you to artists, and to the government that protects their freedoms and mine. We have a way to go, but it’s better than some.