Life should come with a soundtrack

I walk. It has become a physical mantra for me—something I must do.
When I am in Fort Frances, I love to walk along the river, a most soothing and beautiful place to be. Fort Frances residents are so lucky to have such a landscape.
If I lived in Fort Frances, my feet would take me there every day, though I fear I would be distracted from exercise and my walk would become a stroll.
I’d pause to close my eyes and let the river remember me—the same river that hurried past my childhood farm.
While I walk, I work out some of the solutions to the questions of life that puzzle me. The best accessory to walking, aside from conversation with a friend, is music. Music loosens up my joints and puts a bounce in my step and a swing in my arms.
So, I decided last week that life should come equipped with a soundtrack. I would consider trading wisdom teeth or my trick knee for my very own soundtrack.
I think it was Paul Simon who said, “I ain’t no fool for love songs that whisper in my ear.” I’m just such a fool—and a soundtrack would work nicely with that.
On days when I waken tired and stiff, I’d like gentle music, allowing me to come to life slowly; something from Chopin, though he can be a little heavy, his broken heart and all.
If nothing else, it could be evidence I am slightly cultured; a one-upmanship (my Chopin beats your Chopsticks).
I could open one sleepy eye, glance at the clock, and take several minutes to wiggle toes in time to the music.
On other days, when being awake is immediate, cheerful music would be in order. I like to brush my teeth to “Copacabana” (I know, try to cut me some slack on that one). I hear the theme from “Rocky” when I run, which switches to a sombre arrangement of “Taps” when my lungs begin to collapse.
I’d like “Jeopardy” theme music while I wait in line—music that hopefully is loud enough to cause those in charge to feel guilty about keeping me waiting. I hate to wait.
I’d like a heavy Beethoven tune when danger lurks. I don’t mind surprises, but I think I’ve earned a little warning for the harmful ones—even if only two or three bars’ worth.
So much better than someone screaming, “Look behind you!”
When someone who loves me is close by, I want soft-spirited music, the gentle kind that takes your heart and rocks it gently back and forth; the kind of music that makes me sway with my eyes closed.
Perhaps Beyonce’s “At Last” or Tony Bennett crooning about “The Way I [rather than you] Look Tonight.”
I could have used some repetitious thrash metal tunes from Pantera or Cowboys From Hell while waiting for my teenager to arrive safely home, finally exhausting her repertoire of reasons for staying out late.
“Chariots of Fire” could play during life’s challenges like getting to the grocery store or the bank. Maybe the love theme from “St. Elmo’s Fire” to buoy me up for bill paying or going to the dentist.
After the Vancouver Olympics had come and gone, I thought hearing “I Believe” would be inspirational. I’d like a gold medal in something. For instance, I’m a fast eater, I play kakuro excessively, and I forget to water plants and to bring my reusable grocery bags to the store, so perhaps a gold in good intentions.
There’s still time for greatness.
Dick Clark said music is the soundtrack of our lives. He’s right. I like nothing better than walking with my iPod headphones clamped over my ears and melancholy love songs crooning to the rhythm of my step.
The songs make me sad at times as melancholy can, but hopeful, too, as if I might figure out this stuff of life before my walk is over.
wendistewart@live.ca

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