Renaissance: The Rebirth of Things That Never Were

It's interesting to note that the European Renaissance set in motion an unprecedented stream of innovation and movement that has inevitably led to basis of the world as we know it today - and yet the period is termed a "rebirth."

Similarly, I think people may naturally impart ideas of revival on changes in their life that never "vived" at all. The present always has its foundation in the past, of course, but in some cases I think we intentionally misremember things just so we can feel the nostalgia - just so we can feel that we're reliving something instead of experiencing something completely new.

This idea may influence us most subliminally in the concept of deja vu. I know that when I experience deja vu it can be quite incredible; in a moment I am struck with a thousand thoughts: How has this happened to me before? Did I dream about this? Do I have the gift of foresight? In reality, it's likely that my deja vued experiences are purely mental inventions. I do have pretty strange dreams, and there are many that in certain moments have surged back into memory with the smallest of experiences that seem to have been plucked directly from them. Usually, though, my dreams already have familiar environments and experiences in them; places and people are only slightly skewed in my dreamscapes. It's obvious that many aspects of what my mind interprets as incredible deja vues have indeed already happened - the mystery is why we take our ever newly-created experiences and interpret them as replicas of the past.

Beyond the subconscious, I was moved to write this post because of music. Posts like this one and especially this one's second half show that music is not a major part of my life - at least not on a minute-by-minute basis like it is for others. Music has been a big part of my life in other ways, as seen here - but regardless, as of the last few weeks I've become increasingly dissatisfied with my listening routines. As a result I've begun to explore other music I have, discovering things old and new, and in particular things old - quite old.

Only one step beyond the Renaissance in musical period, the Baroque is really digging into me. I've always been somewhat predisposed towards Bach, considering he's one of my mother's favorite composers, but now I feel especially compelled to explore more of his music. When I realized how much I'm getting into classical music now I thought "oh this is just like when I was a little kid," but really, that's not true at all. The truth is I've never really been into classical music before.

Throughout elementary school, of course, I was the smart kid. By assumption this often imparted to other kids the idea that I listened to classic music, and indeed I did - but only really because of my mother. Of my own volition I never really listened to classical or enjoyed it more than other kinds of music unless I was playing it myself. As with other things though I gave into the assumptions of others and continued the myth - strengthening my "genius" identity with geeky musical tastes.

Often when asked what kind of music I listened to I didn't really have a good answer, so "classical" became the easy way out. Again, as with other things, good music is only something I've grown to appreciate with age. With that in mind, now I'll be uploading some new cd's onto my computer.

Image: Yes, Bach is that cool. ('Twas found here.)