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I’ve always loved music. As a little girl, I could spend hours going through peoples CD collections, sampling them with my little battery-operated CD player. If you showed me a stack, rack or box of CDs, I was in heaven.

Then, I was 8 (2011), I got my first iPod for Christmas, an iPod Touch with 32GB of memory! The sticker said it was from Santa, but ‘Step’ got a package in the mail from Apple three weeks earlier, so I knew who it was really from. Upon opening it, I rushed upstairs to my older brother’s computer, plugged it in, carefully copied the username and password for the family iTunes account (from a wrinkled post-it note), and the world was never the same.

It never occurred to me that my parents could see all of my playlists and that they were automatically downloaded to their devices - like my break-up playlist, inspired by Antoine, my French-boy fifth grade crush. It didn’t work out because he didn’t have an email account and our recess times didn’t line up, but my playlist helped me through it.

I could burn playlists to CDs and exchange them with friends - or gift them to middle school boys who I hoped to amaze with my awesome musical tastes. There’s an art to the playlist that involves controlling pace and mood - every playlist was both a gift and a seduction.

Today we have Spotify with its unlimited streaming of every song ever made - on demand. Exchanging playlists, these days, is as easy as pressing "Share" and typing the first few letters of a friend’s or lover's username.

Like most of my girlfriends, I consider myself a playlist queen and as I continue to work this career path I’ve chosen, regardless of what's weighing me down, I know I can turn to my playlists to push me through. The band ‘The Narcissist Cookbook ’ assures me that my shocking honesty is fun with ‘Broken People.’ ‘K. Flay’ allows me to dance-out my rage with ‘Blood in the cut’ and ‘New Move’ motivates me to keep-at-it with ‘When did we stop.’

I’ve countless Spotify playlists: one for waking up, one for writing papers, one for doing problem sets, others for walking to class, doing the laundry, for nostalgic reflection, and for embracing the astounding depth of human pain.

Of course, as time passes, I find new favorite songs and older playlists are replaced with updated ones; but thanks to the archival nature of Spotify playlist collections, all my old lists remain intact. I’ve never deleted one. Search my archives and you’d see playlists from my freshie year, when I was new here, feeling insecure and alone, or from my sophomore year when I first fell in love.

This piece is a playlist love story, about how music reflects our identities and allows us to share ourselves through the vibes, melodies and beats that move us. I think playlists have a lot in common with poetry, which uses words, phrases and imagery for similar purposes.
Sought the lost and lonely traills
Slept beneath the stars,
Walked where the wild beast trod
And gazed aloft to Mars.
Tasted that which succoured me
Exquisite on the tongue,
Drank the wild and wooly brews
Then lay down in the sun.
Ran the race of all young men
Epic and guilt free,
Often paid the price in pain
Which brought me to the knee.
Could lament on sorrows past,
Easily shed a tear.....
But things just, kinda, balanced out
Twixt laughter and the fear.
Can't complain about my lot
I've scaled the mighty peaks
And paddled my old log canoe
Despite it's many leaks.
Guess it all boils down to where
Your values rest in tune
In moments of tranquility
Beneath a hanging moon.

Some personal meanderings after enjoying Stevo's gentle verse, "Do No Harm"
I have trekked scorching deserts,
leaving only temporary footprints,
upon trackless sands. Shallow etched
impressions soon erased by the wind.

Sailed upon deep ocean seas, swam
and surfed cobalt blue saline waves
skimming over colorful coral reefs.
Leaving nothing to mark my passage.

Hiked high mountain wilderness trails,
camped and slept under bright star lit
skies, decamping with not a single trace
of my transitory visit, or earthly presence.

In travel I learned meaningful values and
life lessons from people that lived in thatched
huts and never attended college or read a book.

My great grandchildren will not know me
except for some old photos and a few handed
down stories, I will not hold them, kiss their
tiny faces, or pass on anything I have learned,
that is my children's role. That will be my
lasting footprint.

This knowledge should be our goal in all
we do in our short lives. Like all living
creatures, we are but brief guest on this
earth. While we are passing through, we
should endeavor to do as little harm as
No amount of formal education can teach and
enlighten us as much as broad travel and the
exposure to the wisdom of nature.

I am grateful to have traveled and explored
diverse lands and cultures and to have
acquired broader insight gained in the

I have bought things, built things,
accumulated "Stuff" much of it
meaningless in the full scope of
time and importance. My only real
ongoing accomplishment is my
family, that and understanding my
limited significance upon this Earth.

It is not what we have, it is what we do,
or do not do that matters. And do no harm..
To love is to derail your path
put aside your own desires
throw yourself upon the pyre
to feed the fires that burn in someone else's heart
an act of madness from the very start
not a sacrifice, for that implies regret
yet we impale ourselves, to feel love's sting
on the reddest rose with the sharpest thorn
the sweetest pain which must be borne
a beautiful sabotage
“If people bring so much courage
to this world the world has to ****
them to break them, so of course
it kills them. The world breaks every
one and afterward many are

strong at the broken places."

A Farewell to Arms,
Ernest Hemingway

struggling with so much,
then this scripture of writing sent
by some unfamiliar, a providential
provider; and I am realized, this man
is broken in ways you have no idea,
can~not comp~re~hend  

understanding floods, healing
required, for I too have been killed,
my trust and beliefs, trashed,
too many fools who think that
moral equivalence is a thing,
that the unspeakable is justified,
hatred makes me so broke so low,
justification is not justice,
nor an excuse to do whatever

cross the street, and believe,
that drivers will honor a red,
a stop sign, but plenty think
this don’t apply to me, not me

getting on the back of a line
is for fools, people who cannot answer
the arrogant question of the insistent
“Do You Know Who I am?”

I know who I am, yet the ponderance
of evidence says that is not enough,
am insufficient,
I am less
than human,
I am
because of my

And I will spare you the precise definitions of these statements,
for it should be unnecessary, you should be nodding in agreement, clear eyed understanding, intuitive, in your own broken bones felt!

my bones are broken, and the healing needs a source, a “see here”
directive, explain me how my insane madness is not a proper
responsa to the
weight of hate
my eyes see, seen,
and that my own
are not lying,
but believed.

but intuitively understood
that my broken bones can be
healed, each in their own way,
so I will retire, perhaps return
when, even if not fully recovered,
sufficient to care enough,
ready to be rebroken, again,
for this! this! is my
true poetic ancestry

thousands of years have not broken us,
and never will, for it is not fear that will
prevent our resurrection, for we immunized,
for what unimaginable have we not known, and yet recovered,
I believe,
my healing will be quiet, solitary, removed
from the distractive noises of invective infecting,

but I will be present,
for my children, and my children’s children will
look to this ancestor and learn that his blood
and bones deeds them the self-healing properties
that always has and always will defeat those
who seek to destroy your future

1) the DNA of your ancestry
inherited inherent in your bone marrow  
and bone tissue is continuously remodeled
through the concerted actions of bone marrow cells

2) Stem cells in your red bone marrow
(hematopoietic stem cells) create red and
white blood cells and platelets, all of which
are components of your whole blood.

so here is our truth:
The world breaks every
one and afterward many are
strong at the broken places!*

our whole blood will replenish us
Sabbath Eve
Fri Nov 17
in the ***** of my birth
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