In NLP they’re called anchors.
Simple sensory inputs that trigger a whole range of feelings, memories, thoughts, imagined futures, new capabilities…
For most people music can be one of the most powerful anchors – the idea of “our song” is not a lover’s cliche without reason.
A sign of my age (and a serious lack of music buying during the later years) – a significant majority of my music collection is still on vinyl. Despite the lack of a functioning deck for several years I’ve lugged a couple of hundred LPs through a divorce and a couple of house moves. The most recent move was enough to ensure that I did something about the situation.
Thanks to Google I found Musonic UK, just down the road in Watford, manufacturers of replacement styli. Waiting on my doormat when I got home from work today was a small padded envelope containg the desired item and within a few minutes I had the deck hooked up and ready to play.
What to play first? Almost at random I selected “Victims of the Fury” – a Robin Trower album from 1980 that I’d not heard in many, many years.
As the first powerful, wailing chords of “Jack and Jill” filled my living room I was taken straight back to my 18 year old self, recovering once-dark memories of the short-lived love for which this album (and in particular this track) were the “mourning” songs…
Within seconds that spine-shivery, chest-warming feeling was back – the power of music that stays dormant inside ready to awake.
I’ve missed this.