I just picked up this book, Love Is A Mix Tape, at the library after seeing a recc for it from a friend of a friend on Facebook. (Do all my posts mention facebook?) Anyway, as one of those teenage music lovers who devoted many hours of my life in the 80’s and 90’s making mix tapes, the title appealed. It makes sense to me.
I still find it hard to relate to people who haven’t felt their lives changed by music. I don’t care what kind of music you are drawn to – just have some flowing in your veins.
Of course my mix tapes had to have groovy, obscure titles that somehow summed up the collective meaning of the compilation. And it had to have songs that the recipient had never heard before that would blow their mind. I took great pridein these efforts. Each tape was infused with mad love.
I made countless tapes for friends, lovers, and family. I even made an awesome one once as a parting gift for my therapist symbolizing our shared psychological journey. Over the years, in return for my labors of love, I was gifted amazing mix tapes all of which opened my heart and expanded my horizons.
So what now? Is there some kind of 21st century equivalent to the mix tape? How do the kids these days express their heart felt appreciation for each other in an indirect, cool, socially acceptable, non-dorkey, yet sophisticated way? Do they share iPod mixes? That just seems like a sad replacement. Virtual like most everything else in their world these days. Nothing to hold on to. Nothing to feel and identify as a work of art and love. Nothing to stomp on when your heart is eventually broken by the tape’s creator.
But interestingly, Love Is A Mix Tape is really about what remains when the one you loved is gone. It leads me to think about how much we gain from allowing ourselves to love and be loved. Even though the confusion or pain of the loss can feel like more then we can bear. It is so worth it.
Its the love we feel that creates the music in our hearts.