Listen

This one is about listening.

The walls of my heart beat to the rhythm of every song that has ever reached it and my heart remembers, somewhere in every beat, the first song that breached its walls.

It was Numb by U2. Heard for the first time in the summer of 1994.

On the grass, looking up at the sky. I could just about hear it play over the noise of my friends repeating Monty Python and Top Gun. I was thinking about the myriad conundrum that befall a summer with boys and girls, in tents and under night skies with planes for shooting stars.

I was thinking that it might not get better than this.

I was thinking how lucky I was to be having this moment.

“Listen to the words” he said.

So I did. I expected him to say something glib about the rhythm and rhyme. I expected him to deliver a really sharp poke to my ribs when it got too much but he didn’t. No. Instead he whispered “this is my funeral song”.

And just like that an indelible memory was made and my heart skipped a beat. Morse code to tell my brain that this was a moment keep.

The walls of my heart hold the words of every person who has ever reached it and my heart remembers every day, somewhere, in every beat.

Four years after that summer we stood far from grass and skies and listened to the words of a different song for his funeral. Words for hearts that broke; not stopped.

This one is really about hearts and how they beat, break, flutter and scar only to beat again. Beat again to stop. Stop again for the moments that bring the walls down.

The walls of my heart still hear the echoes of every sound that has ever reached it.

Monty Python, Top Gun, U2, beautiful puns, footsteps on mountains and all the songs and whispers of hopes and dreams that breached the hearts around mine.

Listen to those who tell you to listen.

Be still for your beating heart.

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