12.16.2006

I am a Diamond

My iPod woke me during the night as if it needed to tell me something. At first I wasn’t willing to listen, disturbed by the call to wakefulness via a tune playing from speakers across the room.

Huh?” I thought.

I saw the glowing light of the iPod screen announcing its operational status. Still disoriented by sleep lingering in my body, I reached for the tiny remote sitting on my nightstand, fumbled over the buttons, and hit 'off.' I set down the remote and rolled over, eager to return to dream state. Within seconds, the music started up again, and once again I reached for the remote. I clicked 'off,' and before I could even place the remote back on my nightstand, the music started again. Like a comedic tug-o-war, I repeatedly hit 'off' and the iPod repeatedly rebounded to life. It was not to be silenced.

I stood in a huff and marched towards the device, pulled it from its speaker base, and laid it flat on my TV stand in a triumphant ‘Take that!’ I returned to bed and slept through the night till morning.

Had the evidence of the horizontal iPod not greeted me when I woke, I might have thought my memory of the incident a dream, but there it was, lying prone as if knocked out, unable to move. I kind of felt sorry for my dear iPod – it looked helpless and rejected – but it had disrupted my sleep, which I consider rude and insensitive.

Later, I started detailing the incident with amusement to my son when he asked, “What song was playing?

“‘I Am a Diamond’ by Antigone Rising,” I replied, and as the words floated towards my son, my eyes unexpectedly started to tear.

Which song is that?” he asked.

The disk sat in the CD player of my car, so I turned on the car stereo and found the right track.

I am a diamond and I cannot be broken…” sang the car speakers.

I spent the next five minutes trying not to cry in front of my son as I motored him to school. After dropping him curbside, I drove off and returned to the top of the track. I played it three times before pulling over for coffee. My iPod had been trying to speak to me, and I just didn’t want to listen. I exerted all my effort to keep the message away, a message that should become my mantra.

I am a diamond and I cannot be broken…

Lately I have felt very broken, inexplicably broken, the kind of broken that no one else can see or feel.

Music reached out to me in this way once before. The night of my stepfather’s funeral, I came home, crawled into bed, and thought, “How can I best help my mom?” She was feeling very broken, paralyzed by sudden loss. As the question completed in my mind, a tinny little piece of music started playing somewhere in my bedroom. I sat up, looked around, unable to identify the source. The sound drew me towards a chair against the wall, a chair used as my depository of stuff. The drop zone.

A few odd items lay on the chair, and the music seemed to be coming from beneath them. I burrowed through the pile and found a tiny, windup music box, a replica of a wrapped present adorned by images of butterflies that my mom had passed to me to play for my infant son. It housed her favorite song, Edelweiss from the movie The Sound of Music.

I hadn’t seen the music box since depositing it on that chair the previous year, evidence of the out of control state of my room. I didn’t even know it was there. For it to leap to life after being untouched for a year was quite startling. In order to get it to play, one must wind the little lever on the bottom a few times, and when it runs out of juice it stops. There is no on/off switch.

That night, without calculation I thought, “She should start taking piano lessons.” I can’t say why that came to me. My mom hasn’t played piano much since my childhood, but a baby grand occupies a big chunk of her living room, mostly as a stand for framed family photos. With the butterflies on the box – the symbol for transformation – it was all too neat and tidy for my rational brain, yet it felt so true that I didn’t question it.

I told my mom of the experience the next day. She nodded, listening, trying to hear. This incident took its place behind a long list of mystical things that had happened since my stepfather’s funeral.

Now, eleven years later, my iPod is talking to me. I can attribute it to chance or coincidence. Perhaps a neighbor with an extraordinarily powerful remote on the same frequency hit play. Perhaps the iPod was coincidentally parked on that song. Anything is possible, but it doesn’t really matter, because in my fully awakened state, I am finally listening.

I am a diamond and I cannot be broken…

And the next time my iPod leaps to life on its own, rather than seeking to silence it or figure out how it happened, I plan to lie back and take in the words.


* (the actual name of the song is Broken.)


10 comments:

V-Grrrl said...

I believe the eternal and temporal, the divine and the mundane, are woven together in the fabric of our lives, that God's voice speaks to us in the most ordinary and extrordinary ways.

I'm sorry you are in a low place right now...and glad that your iPod is broadcasting hope to you in the middle of the night.

acumamakiki said...

what a fabulous message to receive. i love when mystical occurences take place, defying reason or understanding, best to just accept and see what that missive brings.

i know that broken feeling these days and while i'm trying to mend (desperately) i also know that this too shall pass, that there's a message for me somewhere, i just need to wait.

Alison said...

Excellent post, deezee.

Bice said...

Beautiful post and sentiment!

jen said...

given your secret superhero power for listening to and hearing inanimate objects communicate - i am surprised you didn't figure it out right away - too bad it was in the dead of night.

the yummy thing is that your subconscious soaked it all in anyways.

my friend...i am hugging you from here.

Anonymous said...

what a wonderfully beautiful story. how fortunate you are to possess the wisdom to trully listen to the world. i have only had one similiar experience and it was many years ago yet it still sits with me. have a calm and joyous new year and keep listening.

madness rivera said...

NICE! At least you listen to the things offered right up to you on a platter. Most don't, I think.

ecm said...

I love the fact that messages can reach through such modern objects as an iPod. And you definitely have good listening ears

Spill The Beans said...

Beautiful, inspiring post. I needed it today. Thanks, Dee.

Rrramone said...

Great story! I've always said that Apple made incredible products. :-) You are not broken. I am not broken. Thanks for the reminder.

(and check the name of the movie you reference with Edelweiss). :-)