Do you ever hear a song that reminds you of your past, with such force that you feel like you’ve returned to a version of your younger self? My friends call this phenomenon a “mental flavor,” an audible trigger that briefly transports you back in time. It happened to me several weeks ago, when I was driving to work. Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” was on the radio, and I was stunned because (A) I hadn’t heard that song on the radio in probably 10 years, at least and (B) I had forgotten it even existed.
But it transported me back to when I was seventeen, when the world was just starting to open up to me, slowly. It was 2001 and I was a senior in high school, and things in our country were scary and uncertain. I would spend my nights in my room, scribbling in my journal about my dreams, frustrations, crushes, and my impressions of the music I was listening to. I had just started listening to classic rock, and I embraced the genre with gusto. “Like a Hurricane” was one of the early songs I remembered hearing on my hometown’s classic rock station. It was so melancholy and beautiful, but it wasn’t a song that I often returned to.
When I heard it on the radio, half a lifetime later, I was stunned at how quickly I was transported to being just seventeen again. I couldn’t get the haunting refrains out of my head, so I decided to use this momentum to design my first embroidery project.
There are definitely imperfections with the piece, but I’m overall really happy with how it turned out. I enjoyed the process of deciding what fabric and embroidery floss colors to use, and figuring out where to place the texts and stars on the piece. I originally was going to do French knots for the stars, but I didn’t like the aesthetic – I feel like these stars fit the piece much better.
I hope you like my first piece! I can’t wait to start on the next.