I Can See The Colors Running When I Hear the Music Play

A couple Thursdays ago I left work, hopped in my car, and headed home. I ran into the apartment for a few minutes, just long enough to change into my bike clothes and to take Bane on a quick walk, before starting on my trek to a couple cities over to meet up with my dad and a friend for a bike ride. My after-work chores took me a little bit longer than expected, so by the time I got to the tunnel, an infamous source of traffic congestion in this area, I was deep in traffic and watching the minutes adding to my ETA on my GPS screen. As I sat in that sea of cars, thumb continually pressing the button to shuffle through my Spotify playlist - next, next, next - I finally landed on Andrew McMahon's Synesthesia

And suddenly, singing along at the top of my lungs in my car, I wasn't in traffic anymore.

Instead, it was a Saturday. I had slept in a little bit before getting up to do some neglected chores around the house. Ben and I had run to Target to grab some beach essentials before pumping up the tires on our road bikes for the first time this summer and heading to the beach. We had biked an easy couple miles down to the heart of the resort area at the oceanfront, where we stopped when we saw the tent at 17th Street Park. 

A week earlier I had had the radio on completely by chance when I heard a familiar voice but not a familiar song. I'd know that voice anywhere: it was Andrew McMahon (former frontman of Something Corporate, a favorite high school jam of mine, of Jack's Mannequin, a favorite college jam of mine, and one of the all-around most talented musicians I've ever had the pleasure of seeing live). A quick search on my iPhone had led me to another fortuitous discovery: he would be playing at a festival on the boardwalk the upcoming weekend, for free.

That weekend had arrived and I was at the park where he'd be, eating an ice cream cone, waiting for his set to start. I had found out that he, in fact, wouldn't play for another 2 hours, so I had ventured out amongst the sea of tourists to hang out on the beach while I waited. I had realized only half an hour before his set time that I needed to suddenly go back home for something, and may end up missing it entirely. Ben and I had huffed and puffed and pedaled home and then back to the beach again (crisis averted), and had made it back to the park just in time to hear the unmistakable notes of Dark Blue

So on that Thursday, sitting in traffic, I wasn't on the road at all. As I sang along to Synesthesia, I was again on the beach on a warm, but not too warm day, when the sun was shining bright but not too bright, and the breeze was cool but not too cool, watching a man I've admired from high school play the hell out of piano. He was playing every song I had hoped to hear (I can die happy now that I've seen "I Woke Up in a Car"). By the end he was standing, stomping on the piano, so many notes ringing at one time. He was throwing a colored parachute into the crowd, walking through it, singing, jumping back on stage, singing, playing, inspiring (on top of being a fantastic musician, this man has also conquered Leukemia), spreading happiness and love. I have exactly one (grainy, iPhone-quality) photo from that day and that's all I need. There are some things a camera just can't capture.

Make a memory this weekend. One that's so great it will carry you through the times that life just isn't. Collect moments, not things. Happy Friday, friends.


  1. of the 6 million plays Cecilia and the Satellite has on spotify, i am likely responsible for 4 million of them.

  2. 100%.
    I have been trying to "collect memories". They are what get us through life, not things!

  3. I love when unexpected things come up to have fun... making memories is the best!

  4. Catching up from Friday. Happy to say I made a memory indeed—several of them! I've been seeing DMB since 2009 and I had some really awesome "firsts" this weekend that I won't soon forget. Not to mention Saturday's show was in a non-stop downpour (apparently my life is going to feature a lot of rain on profound moments, I guess) which just made it all the more memorable.
    Love this post. Love this story! (Have I heard it before? I think you told it to me...)

  5. So many feelings just re-listening to dark blue now-- and what a great story as a reminder to collect moments.

  6. SO FUN! I liked Something Corporate, but I never got super into them. I loooooooved Jack's Mannequin though. <3

  7. I love the passion in this post!! "Collect moments not things"


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