Ghost Stories

I’m listening to another fantastic album that holds so many memories for me. This one is Ghost Stories by Coldplay.

The word “disappointed” doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt when Ghost Stories first came out. After all of the happiness and downright wonder of Mylo Xyloto (their previous album) I almost couldn’t bear to listen to this one. It was slow. It was quiet. It lacked the magic that their other albums overflow with. I heard it once and sadly wrote it off. “Maybe Coldplay’s losing their touch,” I thought sadly. And there it sat, gathering dust at the back of my symbolic music drawer for a good couple months.

Then last summer I was talking with my good friend Dara about the album. Dara and I have been close since freshman year of college, and she’s one of the biggest Coldplay fans I know. (I’ve posted about this wonderful girl before – read it here) And she was telling me how she was just completely blown away by Ghost Stories and how she couldn’t get enough. I looked at her skeptically, not really wanting to believe her, while she deconstructed the whole thing: the beauty in the lyrics, the simplicity of the songs that have the power to wreck your heart, the genuineness and sincerity in every note. I remember her specifically lingering on the last song, “O”, and how it might be even more powerful to her than her then-current favorite Coldplay song “Clocks”. After such a compelling argument, I thought I should give it another go.

And holy poop, the album leveled me. And I haven’t been able to get enough of it ever since.

Its beauty is in its subtlety. It is soft but so powerful. The listener can tell that true love and meaning went into the creation of every note. I find that the perfect time to listen to it is early in the morning or late at night, during a long and foggy drive. It reminds me of the Saturday mornings I’d wake up early and head to marathon practice with my Team In Training friends last year while the rest of the world slept. Or of driving on the freeways of Seattle coming home from friends’ houses or dinner with Davis’ family. It would be the perfect album to listen to while watching snow fall.

I especially like the song “Midnight”. Again, this is one that I completely wrote off when I first heard it. It was one of the album’s early releases, and when I listened to it the first time and watched the music video, I thought Coldplay had lost its collective mind. I was expecting a build, a Mylo Xyloto explosion of sound and emotion, a high as a result of watching it. And instead… just confusion. But after falling in love with the whole album, I can see that it fits so perfectly, and it somehow resonates with me deeply.

So give Ghost Stories a chance. Actually, give it a couple. I think you’ll find you too can fall in love with it if you keep an open mind.

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LIFE.

I’ve listened to so much music lately. Like, other than when I’ve been in class, my iTunes is up and playing. And I feel like it’s really propelled me through today. Now it’s Coldplay.

Oh, Coldplay.

That alone probably explains why I’m posting. I mean, I really don’t have anything in particular to say, but I felt the need to express my joy somehow. That even though these past few weeks have been tough and exhausting and full of coughs and x-rays, broken bones and antibiotics, and lots and lots of necessary sleep to top it all off, things are still really good. Life still looks awesome. Especially awesome, in fact.

I really think it’s Mylo Xyloto talking through me. Particularly “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart”. Don’t worry, Coldplay; I won’t.

The Power of Music

Sometimes I just get one song stuck in my life. It’s like being stuck in my head, but not quite. Instead, I have this inexplicable need to listen to the song over and over and over again. Every word, every note just sounds so perfect, just what I need to hear. Some aspect of it grabs me and holds me there, until I’ve listened to it enough and open my doors to the rest of the musical world again.

I love these songs. I mean, I love music in general, but I especially love these, because when I hear them again afterwards, I snap back to where I was when the obsession took hold of me, if only for an instant. I think my favorite favorite is “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” by Coldplay. I couldn’t stop listening to it on the plane over to Europe this summer. I’ve always loved the line “Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes” but I felt like it was especially applicable there, because quite literally, I was hurtling through the air from my safe zone to the complete unknown, hoping I’d grab hold of it and swing into life at full force again. Even now, seven months later, I flash back to the dark plane and feel the bubbling excitement within me every time that song comes on.

This week it’s been a country song: “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton. Everything about it is just so wonderful. I wish I could aptly express the emotions it stirs within me, but… I can’t. It makes me so happy. I feel the gratefulness I have for Davis in my life when I listen to it. Because really, God gave me him for the ups and downs, for the days of doubt, for everything the song says. I’m so appreciative to him for looking out for me and supporting me during life’s small rough patches. The song inspires me and reminds me that he’s there and he loves me. I feel like my description didn’t do the song or my emotions justice, but… I tried. *sigh*

Tonight it shifted a little bit to “Love This Pain” by Lady Antebellum. I’m having a tough time explaining why – I don’t think it’s relationship-based, because I’m quite happy with mine – but the song just sounds so good. Anywho…

Other songs I’ve had this happen to (and their links):

I know there’s more, but I can’t think of them now. And the ones I mentioned today:

Isn’t music awesome? 🙂

<3

There are some moments where life just looks so good.

I can’t describe why right now – I don’t even know what it is, really. Maybe it’s a new friendship that’s starting to sprout. Or that I’m listening to Coldplay. Or the fact that we’re picking a photographer for our wedding – the first real step towards, you know, actually getting married.

Married.

I think what it really is is that I get to spend the rest of my life with the most wonderful, awesome, amazing person on the planet.

Yeah. Yeah, I think that might be it.

1000 Days

Today. Today was a good day.

Why? Well, let me tell you…

I spent 10.5 straight hours in my favorite building on campus, leaving only for eight ish minutes to stand ten feet from the door to talk to my mommy on the phone. Yeah, it was a really long day. But I feel pretty good about the time I had in there.

AND THEN. It was Mylo Xyloto time.

So Davis and I drove to our local record store and each bought a copy, then hopped back in the car, grabbed dinner, and went for a drive as we listened to it. And it was amazing, not only because it’s Coldplay, but because we were in his car driving around in the dark and listening to it together, just like we were 1000 days ago when we told each other we had feelings for each other.

I love coincidences. Or rather, when things coincide that couldn’t have happened solely by chance. I know it’s little and might be viewed as dumb, but I think the fact that the Coldplay album came out exactly 1000 days after we started dating is nothing short of fate. I mean, if it were any random band, then whatever. But it’s Coldplay – the band that brought us together in the first place.

I like just knowing there’s someone up there looking out for us all. It makes me smile to know that we’re not alone.

(The CD’s very good, by the way – I highly recommend it. Especially the song “Charlie Brown.” What I want to know now is: who is Mylo Xyloto?)

nopattern

A few days ago I found a new artist that I think is worthy of sharing. His name is Chuck Anderson and he does AMAZING things with infusing vibrant colors in black-and-white photos. Nothing that he does is super-complicated, but it really brings the pictures to life. His work really reminds me of the Apple commercial with Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, where colors just burst from the black. Wouldn’t that be cool, to have random colors leap and dance around you? This is how I visualize songs sometimes. It’s so wonderful and bright and full of life.

Check out Anderson’s work at http://www.nopattern.com/nopattern/ and the awesome Coldplay commercial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3mYc1m3lsM. Anderson also has a Windows 7 theme (called “Surreal Territory”) and a theme for Google Chrome as well, which are really cool. I’d love to be able to learn to color (literally) like he does!

Fixer

He promised me.

Long before we were dating, perhaps even before we had given it any thought, he made me a promise.

We were sitting in my kitchen, humming along with Coldplay (which was playing softly in the background), talking about whatever came to mind. Then “Fix You” came on and we both went quiet. I remember having a thousand thoughts race across my mind and I was lost in my own little world for a minute, completely out of reach.

Then his voice pulled me back.

“‘Tears streaming down your face…'” he said. He looked at me, his blue-green eyes gazing into my soul. “I promise that if you ever feel this way, I will fix you.”

My brain stopped spinning entirely. No one had ever said anything like that to me before. I mean, sure, I got hugs from friends when I was upset, with pats on the back and “There, there, it’s all right”s, but it had never been anything that blatant, that honest. Here was someone who was really willing to help me when I was crumbling, even though we’d met only a few weeks before.

I can’t say I remember what I replied with. We were just getting to know each other, and I’m pretty sure I said I’d fix him too. But I do remember how his words made me feel and how much they’ve stuck with me.

But what gets me even more is how true he’s been to the promise he made that girl living next door to him last year. He could have forgotten about it entirely and just left me to deal with my own problems, as I feel many guys would do.

Not him. No, every time I have an emotional meltdown, he comes over and takes me in his arms. He holds me until it’s all out, until the last teardrop has been shed and I can cry no more. He passes me the roll of toilet paper I’ve stolen from our bathroom and helps me dry my eyes. He listens through the sniffles to my problems, my fears, my frustrations and tells me it’ll be alright. Nevermind that he has homework to do. Nevermind that his shirt’s now covered in his girlfriend’s tears and snot. Nevermind that he wasn’t the cause of it, that he shouldn’t be the one on the receiving end of my meltdown. He just pulls me closer and rubs my back, always patient, always kind. And once I’m done he tilts my chin up until I can see into his wonderful ocean eyes with my puffy red ones. He smiles and once again looks into my soul and tells me he loves me, making the world bright again.

He fixes me.

Never once has he wavered from his promise, and for that I am so incredibly grateful.

Sometimes it flat-out baffles me that I have come to find someone so wonderful in the world. I have been so lucky and so blessed by God to be able to call him my best friend and my boyfriend. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve him, but all I can hope is that I can give him everything he’s given me.