Jolted by a song?
Unexpected tears at a harmony?
Moved by Gregorian Chants?
Hearing a haunting melody in your mind?
Whether you believe this quote or not, music is mysteriously connected to our inner being and has the power to right our mind if we allow it.
Times when I need music most:
- Feeling lost and overwhelmed
- Surrounded by trouble and pain
- Out of energy and joy
The challenge is remembering to stop and make time for the healing.
When I do, the return on investment is astounding.
“Normal people just want something to love and look after, he thought; that’s all they want.“
– Rachel Joyce in The Music Shop
I wasn’t sure about this book. Now I know.
And the best way to read this book is to listen to each piece of music as it comes into the story. I found myself asking Alexa for Puccini in one breath and Sex Pistols in the next.
I found The Music Shop to be an enlightening journey into ordinary life and into (sometimes unlikely) music that lifts ordinary life into the extraordinary.
This morning, in my meditation, I listened to the soundtrack of Johnny Cash’s story, Walk the Line. Never a country music fan, I am surprised that the movie was so inspiring and that the lessons in his story still brought a big smile to my soul.
A few of the lessons I learned from Walk the Line (Johnny Cash University):
- childhoods are filled with tragic loses that are sometimes very difficult to unearth and process
- our untutored coping methods are usually destructive
- messy lives still tell the truth
- if we sing the song no one else is singing we will bring hope to others
- hang on ’til the end
Listening to the Beatles yesterday took me back to my first dance. I was 11. I stood against the wall most of the night wanting someone to ask me to dance.
This song started to play and a boy asked me to dance. I was euphoric, but, I spent the entire dance worrying about how I was dancing and what he thought of me. After the dance, my new friend vanished.
How much easier my life would have been at that sock-hop had I just accepted myself and noticed people more! But, alas, all my energy was tied up in a desperate attempt to justify my existence.
In the end, the biggest revelation for most of us will be…life was a lot less complicated than we thought.
I could have been “standing there” with joy.
After posting my “three joys” yesterday, my friend and reader, Betsy reminded me of the best “Hawaiian” music of all time. I included the link (under the pic) of IZ’s “Over the Rainbow” with the video of the celebration after his death. I thought you might want to join the 319 million plus who have watched this YouTube video and just see if it could be one of your “three joys.”
I never liked Phantom of the Opera…until I understood it was about my own struggle with the dark side.
I dissed Sci-Fi…until I found it could teach me essential things.
I mocked country music…until, okay, I still mock country music.
I hated tomato juice…until I tried it.
I ignored animation…until I laughed my way through Toy Story and Shrek.
I never made the effort to learn enough about other cultures…until important people came into my life from other cultures.
I undervalued my enemies…until I knew they were like me.
I didn’t appreciate other points of view…until I listened carefully.
I can become bored with my partner…until I look at him as an eternal, masterfully-created being.
I wonder how much wonder, joy, insight, pleasure, and happiness I have missed because I confidently and callously refused it.
Fanfare for the Common Man is a brilliant composition by Aaron Copland, written initially to honor the contribution of WWII soldiers. However, I was thinking of the sentiment today when my adult nephew (with learning challenges) expressed his frustration about being a nobody.
Many of us can relate to the pain of feeling “too common.”
What I wanted to convey to him is best summed up by Naomi Nye. The end of the poem, Famous, captured it…
I have found so much peace in the simple act of handing over my small contribution to the Universe, asking that it be multiplied to feed whatever need exists versus fretting about whether the world notices me or not.
This is when Fanfare for the Common Man plays in my head.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in fear and nature’s night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray (what the heck?)
I woke. The dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off and my heart was free
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee
These are words to a powerful, ancient song by John Wesley. Many of us can relate to the imprisoned spirit and dungeon parts. But, this morning, I thought for the first time about the very strange “eye diffusing a quickening ray” line and (from personal experience) translated it as…You focused a laser of life-giving power directly upon me and, in a millisecond, I was free…
So, if today I need freedom (miracles, hope, direction, wisdom, forgiveness, power), can it be that the laser of life-giving power might focus on me, one more time?