Last night, I escaped to my favorite book shop to work on an editing assignment. Since I work best with a little melody around me (and since it's better for those around me if I rely on my iTunes collection rather than to create a melody of my own), I popped in the earphones and settled in.
But which playlist? So many to choose from.
I wanted something that could fill my auditory need... without music, I listen to conversations. (It's the writer in me. Every nearby conversation could be a writing exercise on dialogue.) Conversations keep me from working, hence that need for music again.
I wanted something that's engaging, but without lyrics that will pull me in. (I am notorious for getting lost in a great lyric.) There is a time and a place to get lost in the work of a lyrical genius, but not when a deadline is looming.
Clearly, I needed to choose carefully. Big decision.
I chose Lullabies.
Soothing, sweet, a few potent lyrics now and then to keep my mind sharp, and nothing too distracting from my work. These songs put my children to sleep, but I was confident that they could lull me into the state of mind that editing, polishing, and proofreading requires.
But here's the thing: I wasn't anticipating the memories.
I rocked my babies to these songs. I kissed this one's neck, that one's eyelids, all of their toes. I sang to them. I studied them. I breathed them. And in those moments, I couldn't imagine wanting to escape, wishing for more, longing for quiet, losing my cool, or regretting my words.
Suddenly, I missed them. That which was to keep me focused had taken me severaly off task... but in the very best way. I was hungry for them. And when I found them again, I couldn't get enough. An escape will do that... and so will a great song.
Or a great playlist.