What we pass on, what we share, what we gift one another is the chance to see the world through each other’s eyes. Our own experiences can blinker, filter out, cast shadows that, while necessary to push us forward on our own way through this life, facilitate an overlooking. It is easy to forget – and more convenient to believe – that something is ours, and ours alone, when in fact someone else shared it with us.
I had fallen down that rabbit hole. Oh so proud, oh so stupid. On the phone to my dad this week I had a moment of clarity: I owe all the joy I find in music to my parents. Every single drop. I owe them for dancing round our living room, singing at the tops of their voices to the Eurythmics. I owe them for always having a stack of blank tapes so my sister and I could tape the radio and make our own Top of The Pops. I owe them for letting me stay up to watch the Free Nelson Mandela and Freddie Mercury Tribute concerts. I owe my mum for learning to play the guitar in her late 30s. I owe my dad for dancing at my school discos. I owe them for not giving two figs about demonstrating their feelings through music, for dancing and singing and laughing at our cringing. Most of all, though, I owe them because this was their thing – appreciating music in such a loud and open way wasn’t something either of them grew up with – but they shared it with us. Yeah, parents can mess you up but they can also make you.