I am not sure how I lost track of it, but before Apple’s iTunes program was divided into its constituent parts in the last year or so, I had used the Genius playlists function. Genius would build a playlist of music compatible with a specific song a person selected from their library.
This morning, a friend was trying to sell me on the benefits of the Apple Music streaming service. I prefer owning my music as I believe, though I might be wrong, that buying music puts more money into artists’ hands than the fractions of a cent they make each time somebody streams one of their songs. Anyway, I searched the Internet and stumbled upon updated instructions on using the Genius feature in the latest version of the Macintosh operating system. Funny. I had thought Genius was gone. I have often enjoyed some Genius playlists I’ve captured before, like one that goes along with Teddy Thompson’s “In My Arms” (which, by the way, is a terrific “kitchen dance” song I wrote a post about). So I was happy to re-discover the function is still there.
As I was getting ready to start a late bike ride on the trainer this afternoon, I used the Music app to create a Genius playlist from my library based on “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters (another song posted on this site). The song’s beat is motivating, and I felt like I might need that boost as I would be starting the ride later than usual after taking Perry Como the cat to Dr. Schwartz this morning to complete this year’s vaccinations.
One of the 25 songs that Apple plunked onto the list for “The Pretender” was “Shut Your Eyes” by Snow Patrol. In February 2020, I posted another of their songs, “Chasing Cars.” In that post, I tell the story of that song inspiring what I wrote in a card that I asked our daughter-in-law to give to my Sweety on the day of our marriage as she and her entourage were getting ready. Check it out!
“Shut Your Eyes” comes from Eyes Open, the Northern Irish-Scottish alternative rock group’s fourth studio album. It’s the only track I have from that album, and the metadata on the file in the song library folder says I bought it ten years ago this month. I don’t recall the reason for buying just that song, but hey, it was a while ago.
Anyway, the song began playing as I was virtually descending after a moderately-challenging climb in the indoor-trainer-to-Internet-connected program Zwift I’ve mentioned before. As “Shut Your Eyes” played, the screen-mirroring from my computer to my late father-in-law’s TV screen suddenly dropped off, and the screen went blank as if I’d shut my eyes for real!
The dropout was an unexplained glitch that I could toggle out of easily while chuckling about the coincidence or serendipity of the situation… I am sure I could write a whole post just about the happenstance and symbolism. But what I will say now, it was a vivid reminder of what our friend and meditation guide Padma encourages us to do in our Zoom meditation group practice three times a week… to close the eyes, focus on the breath, relax the body, and let the mantra or other element of meditation inside. While my sweety has followed her for much longer, Padma’s soulful, wise, kind, knowing and generous guidance has been a gift to me since the beginning of lockdown, helping nurture a sense of calm, peace and well-being, for which I am genuinely grateful.
It seems so much of life is virtual these days; I also had an online gathering this evening with men in Winnipeg plus one north of Winnipeg and one in Colorado. Whether virtual or in-person, all these people and interactions and meetups add much to my life. So, ironically, while I need to shut my eyes sometimes to help quiet my mind, when I open my eyes up again, I am opening up more able to see, appreciate and integrate life’s blessings.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official music video, a performance of the song in Toronto, Canada, in 2006 from Snow Patrol’s YouTube channel. Full, official lyrics are included in the video’s notes box: