Sunday, March 7, 2021

Scott Walker, "It's Raining Today" (Track of the Week)

With the Covidversary upon us I am remembering where my head was a year ago at this time in that moment when it went from a nascent fear to reality. Quarantine was strangely fortuitous, since it came right as I was hitting a stress-induced breaking point. The crisis helped wipe the old crises off of my plate pretty fast. 

Last February and early March I was listening to a lot of orchestral pop music from the 1960s. I even made a playlist called "Sophisticated Dad Chill Commute" to listen to on my way home from work. I also happened to get really into Scott Walker (not the Wisconsin politician) at the time. His early records brought an avant-garde, poetic sensibility to the sweeping symphonic arrangements.

Last weekend, right before my second vaccination shot, I suddenly got back in the Scott Walker mood. Some of it was probably due to thinking about the anniversary and what it meant on the eve of my deliverance, but a lot was also just the eternal mood of late February and early March.

This is by far my least favorite time of the year. Winter keeps holding on, and what little exists of spring sometimes only comes in the form of heavy rains and howling winds. For me it also coincides with Lenten fasting. It is a time of painful anticipation before sunshine and, importantly for a teacher, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the school year. 

There is a dull ache forever in the background of my soul every March, and it sounds exactly like the buzzing strings of Scott Walker's "It's Raining Today." Last week I got to the city too early to line up for my shot, so I wandered around Central Park in the drizzle, listening to this song over and over again. 

It's fitting that quarantine began in March, the purgatory month. We have been in this purgatory for a year now. Every now and I then I can't imagine getting through this without losing my grip, and have to remind myself that spring is coming. In March you know it so close, but as for today, it's raining. 

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