Today’s post was going to be all about the strange relationship I have with my iPhone’s shuffle feature, and how it seems to know what to play at any given moment, but something happened to me this morning that tied it all together. As with anything having to do with the creative process, ‘if you listen you will hear’.

I have a little used red car we  call ‘the little cherry’, where I jump in to go and teach, run errands, take my dog to the park, and of course, my favorite thing, sit there in silence listening to music while I drive through the streets of Madrid. About two weeks ago I had to run a very important and nerve-wracking errand that will possibly become the starting point of huge opportunities for me. I was sitting there by myself, a little scared of what I was about to do, and at that precise moment, the shuffle feature in my iPhone decides to pull one on me by playing Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’ and I teared up instantly. I am not a die-hard Mitchell fan as I know so many of you are, but this song reminds me of my mother and our time together and I always have it on my phone:

‘I remember that time you told me, you said, “Love is touching souls” Surely you touched mine ‘Cause part of you pours out of me In these lines from time to time’

That little piece of the lyrics takes me on a roller coaster of a ride every time and it was so strange to hear it at that precise moment. Mr.Shuffle didn’t stop there, as I was wiping off the tears, Led Zeppelin appears with ‘Tangerine”, off I was now with half a tear still in my right eye, but a huge smile on my face, almost halfway to my scary destination, and with my official ‘fill yourself up with hope tune’ blasting through the stereo. Nick Drake and his ‘Black Eyed Dog’ showed up next as I was pulling into the parking lot, so now I was officially with two strong feet on the ground and as focused as I could be. Three hours later I stepped out of a small building on the outskirts of Madrid, with a smile of relief, a glimmer of hope, and I got into my car, turned on my stereo and there it was, the song of victory… Mumford & Sons and their “Little Lion Man”. There’s nothing like a blasting banjo and music that builds with every passing second, to make you feel like your car is going to lift of the pavement for a few seconds. Crazy! Did I buy an iPhone with a weird cosmic connection-style shuffle feature?

This morning I was looking at old photos of my jewelry to pick a few for our new Jewels in the Attic page in the blog, and it was so strange to sit there and look at all those pictures of work I started doing when I was 12 years old, all the way up to 30 (good thing my mom always told me: ‘take photos of EVERYTHING’). I’ll talk about what I found on a different post, but since this is a post about the music that colors my life, here’s what happened. The songs that I listened to while I was making those jewelry designs so many moons ago immediately started sounding in my head. I realized music has been like another member of my family since I was a baby. It was always playing in the background, whenever we had breakfast, lunch, dinner, or had any sort of fun, and every stage of my life has had a soundtrack to it.

This is what I can remember:

– The first time I made a necklace: A mixture of The Beatles and the Mammas and the Pappas (all songs, played over and over again in my mom’s record player).

– Living in New York City as a child: Nanci Griffith ‘Three Flights Up”.

– My first jewelry collection ‘Pinkerton’: Anything by The Shins, The Elected’s “Sun, sun, sun”, anything by The Decemberists.

– Chasing Weezer across Florida with my hubby when I was 18: Weezer’s “El Scorcho” of course!

– My two life changing road trips up and down the California coastline: anything by Green Day, Death Cab for Cutie, or Snow Patrol.

– A life changing bus ride from Woodstock to New York City: Rilo Kiley’s “The Good that Won’t Come Out”.

– My mom passing away: The Beatles with “Across the Universe” and Israel Kamakawiwo’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

– Walking my dogs up and down the hills of our Alto Prado home: Regina Spektor’s “Samson” and Barry Louis Polisar with what I call his special tune for skipping “All I Want is You”.

– Packing up the house and moving to Spain: Sondre Lerche and his song “To Be Surprised”.

– The day my hubby and I tied the knot: the Foo Fighters and their song “Next Year” which I played as a surprise for him while we were doing ‘the ring thing’.

There’s lots more, LOTS MORE! But this is all I have for now…

Do you have any tunes that have marked some milestones in your life? I’d love to hear about them so leave them in the comments!

(To leave a comment simply click on the little box to the right of the post or click on the title of this post and scroll down! Easy as pie… unless you’ve never made pie that is!).



  1. Beautiful words, very inspirational and full of feelings, magic or perhaps energy, as usual. I believe there is a cosmic connection between us and the Universe through music, so when we ask God, the Universe, our family that has passed away (whoever you talk to, whatever you call it) to help us in one of those big life moments, music is the perfect and always right way to get the answer we are looking for. We just need to listen carefully.

  2. Very well said Carmen! It was the first time I was truly aware of this with music, but strange things like these do always seem to happen when you need them the most don’t they? Who knows what it is, but we can always find help and answers if we listen carefully, not only at our car stereos but at our little bits of inner wisdom which always know what we want, what we need and what is good for us. Even of these three are totally different things! Thanks for leaving such a special comment!

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