There is an odd and unpredictable relationship between my iPhone and my car’s bluetooth receiver (cue, “First World Problem” music).
Sometimes it just starts playing music that I haven’t told it to play. And this is surprising to me because I almost never play music in my car. I am a devoted podcast listener. I am hungry – ceaselessly hungry, it seems – for information. Sometimes current events, often times interviews, but always the spoken word.
The other day, taking my daughter to school, on it came; a random shuffle of the music on my phone. And it was a good song, something from the musical “Next to Normal,” I think. “Oh, this is good,” I said. And we listened. And then I thought, “Well, let’s just see what comes on next.”
“Daniel,” by Elton John. No way I was changing that one.
And then an amazing cover of “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy. Incredible.
One after another these great artists joined me in the car: James Taylor, Pearl Jam, Glen Hansard, Colin Hay, Simon and Garfunkel.
Not once did I want to change to a podcast. I was in a reverie of my music, reminded of what it means to me, grateful for it.
It seems our devices know a lot about us these days. Mine knows something that surprised me, something I am relieved that it knows: that once in a while I need to be washed in the timelessness of feeling instead of the immediacy of knowing.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.