music and state-dependent learning


So, I’ve done this thing a few times now that I only just really took the time to think about a little more; previously I had only kind of noted it in the back of my mind

Sometimes, when I’m feeling a playlist pretty good

A song will come on

That isn’t quite a good fit, that I don’t really feel, right then

But – and this doesn’t happen all that often – if I still want to be really feeling the music, and I’m in the car or otherwise can’t easily change the track

I’ve noticed I’ll do this thing that goes something like this:

I’ll sort of remember a time I was really feeling that particular song

And, after a moment

I’ll actually turn my head to the side

Like I’m leaning into the song itself

And then my ears will tingle

From the outside, into my brainspace

Sometimes down through my neck

And then, I will be feeling it

It’s hard to describe

But it reminded me of what I wrote the other day about magic

About state-dependent learning

Although I didn’t actually use that term, even in my brain, until just now

But I think it maybe applies to both

Maybe I’ve begun using that motion of my head

As a sort of musical concentration device

A koan, if you will

This warrants more experimentation!


I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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