Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Peas in a (i)Pod

As a Completely Non-technical person, I am enamored with my iPod. It now goes everywhere with me- car, gym, and even on a long walk yesterday. It has become my trusty companion, creating a soundtrack to many parts of my day. When the kids are restless in the car, I can put on that magical Kindermusik, which has the amazing ability to calm them when I can't. Really, I don't know what subliminal messages are being broadcast over those selections of Wishy Washy and Ring Around the Roses, but they settle into their carseats with a happy, dazed expression without fail.

At the gym, I hit on quite the random selection of music. Being Completely Non-technical, I find setting up Playlists to be a challenge, not quite worth my time. Instead, I have the iPod randomly play through the music library Fillip was kind enough to load for me. Last week I had a really great workout and found myself reflecting on the odd assortment of music that got me through it. We warmed up to Natalie Merchant, pumped a few machines to Papa Roach, hit the treadmill for some cardio to Rossini's overture to Semiramide, then cooled down to Don McLean's Bye Bye Miss American Pie. Not exactly what most people would consider a cohesive group of songs, but frankly, it was the best hour of music I had listened to in a long time.

Yesterday my new pal (by that I mean my iPod) joined me for a long walk around my neighborhood. As we bopped along, I was in my own little world. Diana Ross and the Supremes' Love Child, Oingo Boingo's Out of Control, a bit of Fillip's classic rock thrown in here and there. It was great. I was outside, enjoying the fresh air, and the feeling of really moving along. Then I walked by someone else with earphones in. I smiled and nodded as we passed, but he didn't give me even a glimmer of acknowledgement. Suddenly, I found that despite being on a public street with hundreds of cars going by, I was completely and utterly isolated. My great music brought me a wonderful momentum, but I felt completely removed from everything around me. While at the gym, this is a good thing as I don't like particularly like the feeling of being a hamster on a wheel, but being out on a beautiful day, it seems like I should feel a bit of connection with my community, or at least get a friendly nod from the strangers I am walking past. As I entered the alley behind my house I turned off the music to let the world back in. There were birds chirping, dogs barking, and a refreshing sense of experiencing my day once again.

Although I love my little blue iPod, I need to be mindful not to shut the world out completely, just now and then.

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