Do you remember how a certain song could mean the world to you as a teenager? I do. For me, it was There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths. That was my song. Nowadays, things are a bit different. I still feel emotional about some music, but maybe not with the same fervour and intensity.
Songs can still take me back in time though, help me recall emotions of moments past. A few weeks ago I was on the tram and I started listening to this song. There I was again, on a basketball court in Durham, playing basketball by myself in the rain. I don't think I listened to this song when I wasn't playing basketball, actually. It made me feel exactly like playing basketball made me feel: independent, connected.
My strategy of coping with difficult situations is really simple: I look out for familiar elements, some kind of safety net that makes it easier to face the unfamiliar. My dad played basketball when I was little, my uncles played, my cousins did, at every family lunch someone would end up talking about it, and Space Jam was a huge deal when it came out. Space Jam! So when things got difficult last year - too much rain! - I bought a basketball. Just holding it in my hand brought back memories. I was never good at it, at all, but the park close to my house was always empty in the mornings and anyway, I'm too old to care about being good at sports. I played in the mornings, with my headphones on, and it felt amazing.
Last week it suddenly got warm in Vienna, so my brother and I went and played. We're lucky to have a court just around the corner. My brother is so tall that playing against him feels much like this gif of Gandalf hugging a hobbit. There was also a good amount of giggling about our respective lack of technique. But it was so much fun. This is why I can't wait for summer.