2 min read

the highest peak of the dark mountain.

the highest peak of the dark mountain.
a musical care package from March and April 2022.

it felt like a thousand years; it was a thousand miles away.

The point of taking notes shifted considerably for me when I considered the academia part of my life as decidedly over and moved on to work that was my very own. Figuring out what was worth making a note of, and then a format that suited me and was customised for and by me, and then some kind of shorthand that would be effective and make taking notes worthwhile and actual notes rather than full descriptions of something, took quite literally years of trail and error without much to show for it.

I got better - mind you, that does not mean remotely "good" - at it once I started using the extremely versatile and beautiful and useful and all-round glorious notebooks from Field Notes and tried focusing on just getting what I wanted down on paper in an attempt to remember a moment, very clearly inspired by the beautiful sentiment that doubles as the company's slogan: “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.” When I took that to heart, the shape and meaning of my notes changed from being something almost needlessly difficult and sometimes undecipherable to something more direct and immediate and even intimate, because the noise and the clutter around what I wanted to write down was completely removed.

All that being said, the only time taking notes truly works for me is when work necessitates it and some autopilot mode I'm not aware of kicks in. There's virtually no awareness at play when this happens, just my brain guiding my hand to get down whatever they decide needs to be written down, fully structured and legible in a way I doubt I could replicate if asked to. It's just my subconscious working on its own as if aware that my conscious self is prone to overthinking, and all of this is basically just to say that…when I need it the most, I don't consciously remember what I need to, be it places or events or everything in between - a mechanism inside me does it for me and I have no idea if it's something I have developed, always had, or somehow acquired.

I barely had the time or the energy to listen to music whatsoever in April because of two work trips to vastly different destinations for similarly unalike assignments; I either had too much to do or think about, or actually needed to hear my surroundings and listen to people. This happened despite only actually working for around half of the month and being blissfully free for the rest of it. Yet, the same mechanism kicked in when I had some time to look back at the work I had done and had enough distance from them to sift through the impressions of the trips, only this time for music; so, this is what I remember hearing at different moments in late-winter Stockholm, pre-spring Gotland, and during the first week of spring in Izmir as well as Istanbul. We'll get to what I did there later.