A few years ago I was recommended The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. A fascinating read, it illuminated me to not only the necessity of searching for the proper channels of communication between one’s significant other, but in all our relationships. Proper articulation of one’s message, as well as clear recognition and understanding of what the other is trying to communicate is so vital to successful interaction between spouses, parents, coworkers, anyone and everyone that communicates with one another. It also made me realize that Mr Chapman needs to put out a revised edition with a few more languages in it. While my categorized love language might be physical touch, (I’m like a dog, scratch my head and I’m pretty disarmed, play with my hair and I’ll steal you the President’s launch codes), ultimately my love language is music, specifically Texas Country.
I’ve played the violin since I was eleven years old. Nothing serious by any means, orchestra until senior year and then various spells until my dog ate the bow, and I haven’t touched it since. But from my amateur exercise I’ve gained a sharp ear for quality music, and an ability to experience music on a much deeper level than just melodies and lyrics. This has made me especially sensitive to generally more original genres like Texas Country, where the artists are often the writers and therefore each song is more than a production, it’s a piece of its creator. From these works we can glean a better understanding of our own lives, thanks to the artist’s craftsmanship in capturing a particular common emotion or event and articulating it in a way we ourselves never realized we had been searching for. If you don’t know what I mean I refer you to Wade Bowen, Aaron Watson, Randy Rogers, Sean McConnell, Reckless Kelly, Turnpike Troubadours, Lucero, Jason Boland, Hayes Carll, Robert Earl Keen, Willie, King George Strait, the list could go on. But I digress. The point is that more than physical touch, or words of affirmation, or any of the sorts, a quality, original Texas Country song can capture exactly how I’m feeling in a relationship without me ever having to say it. If there is a certain excitement I might be feeling about a newly began courtship, expect me to be pumping out some jovial early Wade or Randy. Things going through a rough patch? Lucero it is, or maybe some Sean McConnell if I’m really comprehending the scope of my likely self-inflicted misery. Maybe there’s something I’m searching to express to my S.O., but I can’t find the words. Rest assured Green River Ordinance has got my back. Whatever the conversation I’m struggling to have; whether it’s insecurities about the future, doubts about my merits as worthy of earning the place at the hand of my love, an apology my fatal pride just can’t seem to gut out, all are available for expression in double and 3/4 time, to the tune of a wailing fiddle or a lonely steel guitar. The evocative power of an apt Texas Country song is even greater than the written word, and I revel, I delight in the prowess of a masterfully woven dictation. Words are my medium, prose my art, and yet even they can’t elicit the sort of emotion an acoustic Wade Bowen song can.
If you haven’t discovered your love language yet, keep searching. Yours may not be the Josh Abbott Band, yours may be quality time, or gifts. But once you find yours you’ll find a clearer, more emphatic understanding of those within the world around you. You’ll find yourself trying harder to express your point because you realize what can be missed and misinterpreted in even the simplest of miscommunications, and you’ll appreciate so much the genuine expression of a soul to the world, no matter the form that it is taking.