These songs sometimes find themselves playing in public spaces. They stop you mid-page, mid-drink, or mid-bite and cause you to look up and straight ahead, even if there is nothing there to look at it.

Inside you somewhere, a strip of a scab is peeled away only it's been there so long that there is no pain. Underneath, there's a little divit drawn into that spot and it's sensitive to the touch.

And all around you at least one other person is trying to finish his mouthful, his page or sip but can't until that moment of remembering, of touching that tender scar, passes.

The thing that really causes me to get this feeling is songs that you used to listen to while around certain groups of people. You remember things that happened, and in some cases it's as if you relive an entire section of your life in milliseconds. I don't recall singular events, but individuals stand out vividly in my mind - almost as though silhouetted against my past - former hurt rises to the surface from unknown regions, and I have to stop to collect myself, to the point of having to pull over if I'm driving.

Music seems to do this much more vividly than the mere mention of names or events.
natsukashi ya heta uguisu no to^ naki wa

How sweet--
an off-key nightingale's
faraway song

--Issa, 1819.

You're driving through the night. It's quiet, and you're in a contemplative mood. Suddenly, you hear the first strains of the intro on the radio. You turn the volume up as loud as you dare, and pull to the side of the road. Within moments you are no longer sitting in your car, but are many worlds away, as you become the proverbial fly on the wall.

With tears streaming down your face, you watch yourself, your past life. Events that have shaped who you are today. As the song ends, you wipe your tears. With a peace inside, you slowly drive back into the night.

You have been healed by the power of song.

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