Post will arrive late today. Daylight savings means the sunrise comes just before 7am show choir rehearsal followed by exercise class...
"My life would be nothing without music," T. once said to me. I thought of it as typical adolescent hyperbole at the time. Obviously life would still be something.
But what would be missing...?
If you start to think about all of the ways that music comes into life, T's comment doesn't seem so extreme.
After pulling into the driveway just now I had to sit in the car for a few minutes because I couldn't bear to turn off an extraordinarily moving orchestral piece on NPR. Appalachian Waltz, by Mark O'Connor. I've already called the radio station to find out the exact recording, something I can't remember doing more than once before.
Some pieces of music transport and transform the listener, and this was one of them for me. I felt lifted out of this feet-on-the-ground existence into a grander, more elemental space.
Think about how music can make you smile, tap your toe and dance, or clench your stomach into a knot and put a lump in your throat, or inspire you to sit up straight with triumph in your soul.
For me, music is generally so transformative that I cannot listen to it if I need to work or read or think about something with concentration. Some think it's strange that I love music so much, and love to play the piano, but don't listen to music all that often, but it's because it takes the front seat of my mind so powerfully when it's there.
Movies, dramas, dance, many athletic events, religious rituals, parties, weddings, funerals, all depend so often on the power of their sound track. So much so that a lot of people like to listen to the sound track afterwards without the visual part.
A lot of young people can hardly go for an hour without music. Ipod earbuds perpetually in their ears, car radio on, Itunes playing on the computer while they work. Music accompanies our lives. How much would life change without its sound track?
I sometimes think about Beethoven going deaf, and how terrible that would be, and yet he was able to "hear" music in his head, just the same.
I suppose... I hope, that for non-hearing people there is a rhythm in the vibrations of the world that offers them another kind of music.
The music that plays during exercise class is sometimes the only thing that keeps me going. It enables me to bring my focus away from the groaning objections of my body.
Does bird song count? It is music, too. It's hard to imagine a sunrise walk in the springtime without bird voices in the air. The warbles, chirps, twitters, buzzes, clicks and tuneful calls swell in quantity and intensity as the sun comes up.
And there are crickets, and spring peepers, and cicadas...the animal world is filled with a never-ending concert of life...
There would still be life without music. But it would be a drab and lifeless life. So maybe T's sentiment is more accurate than I thought.
Speaking of T -- she is now accepted into four colleges, waitlisted at one, and eight more responses to come soon (I know, it's a lot. But that comes from the insecurity of not knowing if you'll get in to the places you like). We're already trying to plan a whirlwind of visits to southern and midwestern schools if we need to, in order to make an informed choice. But how wonderful to have a choice! We're very proud and relieved on her behalf.
S. wandered around Paris for two hours with his close friend who grew up across the street from our house in Maine. What a cool thing to ponder as I sit here where they both spent hours doing homework together, wondering where their lives would lead.
Life feels awfully full and wonderful today.