by Holly A. Case (Interviewer) and Tom J. W. Case (Hermit)
The following is the continuation of an interview with Tom, a pilot who has largely withdrawn to a small piece of land in rural South Dakota. Parts I and II can be found here and here.
Interviewer: I’d like to ask how you would tell the story of your inner jukebox—perhaps under the title “The Inner Jukebox: A Bildungsroman.”
Hermit: Ah, the inner jukebox, its bearings rusty and contacts dusty. That thing used to roll on an endless reel, telling me and shaping how I feel.
Music, I really used to think, is one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Now I just think less, it seems, or about different things. But even as I give music less thought, it surely is very special.
Music can fit a mood, bend or even break a mood, make a new mood, take you places—what a thing! But at the same time, there is always the chance of going missing as in other ways I have described. In no way have I shunned or avoided music, but I do not seek its warp-voyager quality any longer. I must say that I am not beyond being grabbed and taken for a ride from time to time, however.
The soundtrack you mentioned, I used to make so many playlists to fit time, place, and mood, and it never failed that by the time I had finished making the perfect playlist, it no longer fit those things. I might conclude that it has everything to do with the aforementioned coloring; that the more one truly accepts their immediate surrounding and circumstance, there might just not be a track cued up (unless on an elevator, help us).
All of that said, it can be counted on that I am nearly always narrating my plodding with ditties and tunes spontaneously coined.
Interviewer: On the subject of where the mind goes (and warp-voyagers), what are the thought patterns that recur in hermitude?
Hermit: This is perhaps the one area in which I struggle the most. Thought.
I said just before that I think less, or about other things now. Not true, that, upon reflection. I interact with my thoughts less, but there is no evidence that I think less. Thank you for reminding me. Read more »