I am counting on most of my fans to be like-minded in the way I let music carry me away. For example, if I listen to “Crystal Baller” by Third Eye Blind, it takes me back to my first vacation with Abby in 2003. If I listen to “Mercy Street” by Peter Gabriel, it takes me back to the first weeks I spent with Kathy Sterbenc in 1986. If I was listening to something a lot during a season, that song takes me back to it.
Tonight my iTunes shuffled to “Subterraneans,” one of the three movements of the “Low” symphony by Philip Glass, and I was instantly taken back to one particular season, the summer of 1993. I was logging a lot of Cessna hours back then. The airplane I rented most was a Cessna 150, and it was cheap enough that I could sometimes fly a couple of times a week.
It was on one of those days that I wanted to play around with the airplane and my experiences. That hot summer day in 1993 I decided to climb that little airplane to 10,000 feet. It took quite a bit of patience. Unlike airliners, by the time you get a Cessna 150 to 10,000 feet, it’s 108 horsepower engine is struggling to climb 100 feet per minute. By the time I finally got there, it was an absolute pleasure to feel the cold rush into the cabin through those infamous Cessna “beer can” vents at 40 degrees cooler than it was when I left the summer-hot tarmac.
I excitedly noted in my log book, “10k feet!”
Another piece of music that brings back that summer with intense longing is Grieg’s Piano Concerto In A, Op. 16 – 2. Adagio. I can listen to either of these pieces of music and close my eyes and be there again, alone in that tiny airplane in that big sky, just flying for no other reason than to be flying.