It's All Coming Back to Me Now

by Briana Candito, http://neovox.cortland.edu, October 1, 2010

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There are two distinct memories that flash into my mind as "There were nights when the wind was so cold" drowns into my speakers from time to time. It is almost absurd how emotionally Celine Dion and her full-fledged backup choir sing about the essence of break up in her 90's hit "It's All Coming Back to Me Now". However, when I listen to the lyrics I immediately experience a fluttering out- of- body reaction about the past vs. the present, and how much my life has changed since my youngest years. I look back now after going through so much and my only reaction is to smile when I hear "If you touch me like this and you kiss me like that", and I have my mom and my closest friends to thank for that.

Celine Dion's album, Falling Into You debuted when I was a little five-year old girl listening to the cassette play in my mom's Subaru Outback station wagon. I was beautifully naive to the world and to the ridiculously intense song I was listening to. I had no idea about the strength it takes to move on from a lost relationship, or about romantic love at all for that matter.

I'm sure this particular song played repeatedly in those days, along with a Whitney Houston tape and some old country music. This soundtrack of my childhood rang in and out of my mind on the way to bingo, Four Corners gas station, card night at Uncle Jack's, the hospital in Torrington, Dairy Queen, and the Warner Theatre in our old residence - what I like to call "The heart of Connecticut farmland". I cannot help but remember the faint smell of cold pine trees, sweet maple syrup, and cigarette smoke as we drove back and forth from one destination to another blasting Celine and trying to memorize all of her lengthy lyrics.

I now wonder what my mom used to think about as we drove, listening to a song about the remembrance of love. She was alone and she had me; a newly single parent back in her hometown, a place that she tried to get away from long ago. I wonder if she thought of youthful relationships, like I do sometimes now, when I listen to Celine's timeless verses. I can only wish that she found strength in the fact that she did what was right for herself and her young daughter by leaving our old life. As she looked over her shoulder at me, melting into the leather of the backseat, I hope that she was smiling.

Years after replaying the song again and again when I was young, the lyrics would continue to seep back into my life once in a blue moon. Every time they came on it would hit a deeper part of my memory as my experiences in life progressed. As years went by I had the ability to add new memories to the old, preserved in between Celine's frozen song lyrics. A current interaction with this song brought up old emotions and helped me find humor in the past and comfort in my friends and myself...

Recently, the three of my best friends and I toasted to new beginnings on one of our last traditional female bonding nights for a while before leaving for college our first year. The iPod randomly selected the infamous tune of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now". The intro played and we didn't have to speak to know what was coming. The gleam in all of our eyes hinted that in the next few seconds we would all be belting out the song lyrics together in horribly off- tuned unison. Even though we were all a wreck because we would be leaving each other very shortly, we noticed that our pathetic passion for the song revealed the old beginnings of our friendship.

Here we were, four girls from totally different upbringings, who found similarities freshman year of High School in our broken relationships with young boys whom we had obsessed over and over about. Those few brainless boys helped mold the spark of our invaluable connection; we were instantly best friends over a hopeless likeness and we never looked back.

Now, these girls were practically my sisters, as I looked around I noticed that each one of us had a particular memory shadowed in the back of our minds. Each friend's face turned a blushed pink as memories slowly surfaced while blasting, "I finished crying in the instant that you left"...We were together remembering our past, just us, and it was pitifully hilarious. Each girl's eyeballs widened slightly as they traveled to thoughts of long lost High School sweethearts, and "first's" they would never experience again. I could easily look back on my failed ability at young love as well, however, my mind trailed farther away, to the back seat of the Subaru station wagon with my Mom. I was suddenly young and naive again, warm and comfortable, but most importantly happy.

I believe music is an entryway into the past. A memory can be revealed after years and years based on one simple polished lyric. Songs have the ability to embrace a memory and hold its emotional value. I am curious to see how the extreme illustration of this power through Celine's lyrics affects my future. "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" will no doubt be played again, and I will be able to add new reminiscences in between Celine Dion's words as my life moves forward. A memory even if experienced for only a moment can last eternity within the depths of a song , no matter how ridiculous, heart wrenching or inspiring it may be.

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