October 16, 2011

Interpretation

Have you ever heard a story or song that sounds just a little different than the way you are used to hearing it? Does it bring up memories or perhaps a story of the way things were? Do you become nostalgic for a different day or time in your life?

Stories are great; they bring meaning to what we see and hear in the present day, but they should never be taken as reality for a story is the teller's interpretation of an event or experience. When you hear the story it then becomes your interpretation of an event or experience. When you tell that story, it becomes the listener's interpretation, and on and on. 

It's not gossip. It's not inauthentic. It's life and art and music and everything moving forward through time and being experienced over and over again. So this song, originally recorded in the 60s, can be rearranged and performed on stage in the 90s, recorded and uploaded to YouTube in the 00s and then heard by me and shared with you today in 2011. We are all in different places than the first time we heard the song and free to like or dislike it in the moment and to have our interpretation change again the next time we encounter it. I think that's kind of cool.

For Music Sunday at Experience Optimism, please listen to classical guitarist Michael Chapdelaine performing "California Dreaming" in his award-winning fingerstyle guitar interpretation. I challenge you, the next time you hear the song, in an elevator or as you are driving to work, think about how it makes you feel and who it makes you think about in the moment and draw strength from that new interpretation for that is what is real. 

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