I’m sitting in a coffee shop studying for midterms. Normally I’d plug my ear buds in but it’s quiet today and I feel like listening to the overhead music and eavesdropping on baristas’ conversations. Two guys talking about knitting rugs for their houses. It’s really cute, and it’s a little reassuring that there are at least two men right in front of me who aren’t so obsessed with fitting gender roles that they can comfortably knit a green cap behind the coffee bar. A tree across the street is red at its tips; all the other trees around it are still green but this one tree announces that my favorite season of the year is almost here. Every year I feel older in the fall, although by the time spring rolls around I look back at my naïve fall-time self and chuckle at how hopeful I was.
The music is really nice right now though. I’m not sure what’s playing – it sounds like Band of Horses. It’s a methodic, sad guitar, fingers floating over the frets propelled by mostly love, though it’s sad. The song is about an alluring girl, one that couldn’t be touched, couldn’t be reached. When they were needed most, the words stumbled out of his lips but fell straight to the floor and they never reached her. She never knew. But these words are attached to notes that lift them up. They float through the air even now, even years after the fire that fueled the composition has dampened. The notes still float around, and they’ve traveled. They’ve traveled all the way to Athens where they fall on my ears – ears that weren’t the intended audience but on which the music has the intended effect anyway. Feelings are fleeting, especially the specifics, but the results of creative endeavors that emerge from meditation on those feelings – they last forever. They last as long as there is an audience to receive them.