Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dun Dun Dun Duuuuun Duuuuun, Dun Dun Dun Duuuuun Duuuuun, … (TJEd)

Tom (9) is learning to play the Star Wars Theme on the piano. He’s in LoL Phase, so he doesn’t really “study” piano, he “plays at” piano. His dad is helping him with some basics, and he’s learning to play “by heart”. He doesn’t sit down and practice for a 20 minute session every day, he just plunks down and works on it for a few minutes at a time, several times a day, usually when someone else is trying to have a conversation in the same room. He’s comfortable with the piano, seems to enjoy the challenge of learning a piece of music, and particularly gets a kick out of showing off his progress.

I’m one of those people for whom tunes get stuck in my head easily, and seem to hold on for very long periods of time. If I happen to hear the same tune several times in a day, or for more than one day in a row, that tune pretty much is permanently embedded until another persistent tune comes along to dislodge it and take its place. It can, at times, be maddening. Not just because I’ve got a tune, not of my conscious choosing, stuck in my head, but because I tend to unconsciously hum said tune. A lot. Any time I’m not doing something that requires active, semi-directed thought, I’m humming. Washing the dishes, folding the laundry, sweeping the floor, cooking dinner. Whatever, wherever, whenever. I’m humming, and mostly not even aware of it. And, I’m humming the tune that’s stuck in my head, which means I’m hearing it again, which reinforces the tune’s strangle hold on my mind, so I hum it more, so…. You get the idea.

I remind myself of a Robert Heinlein character (I can’t remember which, it’s been so long since I’ve read his books, but I think it was Lazarus Long) who said that his subconscious humming indicated that all systems were “go”, and everything was a-okay. I’m pretty much the same way. If I’m washing the dishes and I’m NOT humming, you better bet I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about something, or I’m chewing on a concept or idea which requires my attention. My kids haven’t figured out yet that if Mommy is not humming, it’s probably not the best time to talk to her. Maybe I should clue them in…

But, regardless of the possible ramifications of humming, I would really like to wake up in the middle of the night and NOT have The Star Wars Theme playing in my head. Just once. Maybe a little Mozart instead?

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