Tag Archives: words

Headphones for the heart

“If we can make it through another day
With you believing in my innocence
And we can make it through another year
‘Cause we both need it to forget this fear” – White Lie by The Lumineers

Listening to music through headphones changes the music. It changes how you feel about the music, the lyrics. It changes the story, the intensity. Mild fascination with words sung become a life line, a soundtrack to your deepest emotional crevices. The songs become your heartbeat. The music becomes you and you become the music. At least, that’s what happens to me. It must be said that I am absolutely a person who depends on music for survival.

I’ve recently become smitten with the Lumineers and although I heard their first popular song, “Ho Hey”, some time ago, I didn’t pay the band much attention. I actually heard “Ho Hey” initially on a road trip out to visit Jeremy, when visiting was an entire trip away. I remember thinking to myself how appropriate the line “I’ve been trying to do it right. I’ve been living a lonely life” was on my solo journey out into the desert to hold hands with a man I have never brushed skin with outside in the sunshine. Those lyrics stuck with me. The loneliness of that line stuck with me and I found myself singing it over and over again on that car ride.

I recently got hooked on The Lumineers and have even persuaded Jeremy to download some of their songs on his MP3 player. Yes, sometimes prisoners get MP3 players, though definitely not for free. I apply parts of each song I hear  to my life with Jeremy. I read an article about the band recently, where the lead singer referred to his brother(another band member), Jeremy, as “Jer” and it made me raise an eyebrow and laugh and sort of cry at the same time because we call my Jeremy, “Jer”. It’s funny how common things become magic when you allow them to.

I believe in unseen life connections. I often have trouble having faith in those connections because the patterns are woven in such a delicate manner that they are tough to see on especially dark nights. I get so frustrated with the kingdom of love that we have built because it is so unbelievably beautiful and vulnerable and it feels, fragile even though it’s strong.  On the surface we are two kids in love who happened to stumble upon each other, maybe by a happy accident, maybe by divine intervention. What do I know? I know that I love someone who lives in a prison in Nevada who came to know, and eventually marry, through a single letter I sent so long ago. I know that what we have is the truest life experience I have ever known. I know that I need to start fucking believing in this path I chose to walk on again. I am going to listen to life with my headphones on from here on out. The situation isn’t ideal, obviously, but I often feel like I’m taking “the music” for granted. I feel like I stopped looking at this adventure with Jer in an exciting light. I replaced “adventure” with “fear” and “hurt” and “the end”.

I’m going to dig deep, open my ears and my heart. I’m going into this next area of the path with the feeling that this is the beginning. This IS where the magic happens. It’s like when you’re listening to an especially long intro to a song. You’re waiting for the intro to “break”. You’re waiting, waiting, waiting, and when the lyrics begin and beat changes, you realize there can be no song without the intro.

“It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference”- Stubborn Love by The Lumineers



Our words

Over the years I`ve had people ask the question “What do you and Jeremy talk about?”. They mean how can we talk for hours on end at our visits. They mean how can we write 30 page letters. They mean how can we burn through hours on the phone(when we were allowed more than one 15 minute call a month) and not realize where the time went. What do we talk about? What is there to talk about? I always laugh and reply “We talk about everything and nothing”, and it’s true. My question is: What is there not to talk about? Connecting with my best friend is the most important time of my life, and I want to share every single thought, joke, expression of love, frustration, and sadness with this person.

Our love and life is built on our words. We don`t get to hold hands, kiss, or connect physically on a regular basis, and actually not at all right now. Our words are our love, our armor, our promise to each other. While other couples can pacify a bad mood with a movie shared, a road trip taken, or sex, all Jeremy and I have are our words. We substitute everything with letters, phone calls, and crazy amazing conversations at our visits. I have never felt more connected to another person in my life and right now we are restricted to mostly letters. My love has never been so strong.

When sharing a visit with family members I feel myself get antsy like a kid because I sit quietly, staring at my husband and watching him interact with others. I try really hard to not be selfish, to let other people talk to Jeremy when it is a group visit. I find myself speaking our words with my looks and he will randomly burst out in laughter because he knows I`m anxious and excited to have a moment alone with him, to string all my words together and create jokes, professions of love, and stories for his enjoyment.

We have created this wonderful, open world of communication where there is no holding back, no shame, no “I`ll tell you later” because all we have is there and now. All I have is that page, that 15 minute phone call, that less than enough time visit. My words are my connection to my husband. There is no backspace, pause, or delete. There is a continuous flow. There is 13 years of words between us and I know there is easily another 13 more.