Rising and Falling

I’ve been sitting in the Student Union for a while now.  When I got here it was perfectly empty at first.  It was perfect in quietness, perfect in solitude, perfect in loneliness to match my mood.  Now, there are a few dozen people here from some robotics convention.  It’s still perfectly lonely but now that desolate feeling has been personified in the faces of people I don’t recognize and never will.

I wrote once on how hard it was for me to connect with music.  I’d like to retract that statement.  As I’m sitting here, reviewing my notes on the Greek influence on Renaissance art, a familiar melody started playing though my headphones.  Except it wasn’t playing through my headphones, or in my ears, or even across my brain waves, but it started playing directly on my heart.  It isn’t even that great of a song yet all of a sudden I felt like smiling or crying or both (you might be correct in attributing this conflict of feeling in the fact that I’ve spent the last two days on a relatively deserted campus).  Either way, I decided to write.

As soon as I felt the melody and notes on my heart, my brain turned into some sort of antiquated projector.  Fuzzy black and white images started to come into focus.  I’m sitting in my old bedroom before it was redone, staring at walls the color of a grape slushy and playing with little key chains and trinkets that unlocked my imagination to a world all my own.  I’m sitting in the old Lumina mini-van with the worn upholstery and fabric falling from the roof, on my way to Florida listening to this CD and halfway between the conscious and dreamworld.  Looking back, I think I spent most of my childhood in that transitory state where nothing was real enough to be boring and reality was augmented by an imagination that was always on in full force.

My heart is rising and falling to the beat of the violin and drum.  Finally, I am moved.

Until next time,

P.S. Although this post may insinuate that I am in some way not enjoying this weekend, that is completely false.  If you didn’t know this already, I don’t consider lonliness and quiet and solitude to be negative things and my experiences with them these last few days have been minimal yet fulfilling.

The One Thing Unfathomable

Music is moving.  It can move souls. It can transform lives. It can save lives. It can bring a nation to tears.  It can bring a stadium to its feet. It can define a generation.  It can define a human being.  The one thing that this all-powerful music can’t move? Me.

I’ve tried so hard to get into music.  I see how many people enjoy it and I see what a strong influence it can have.  But try as I might, music really doesn’t move me.  You might say this is because I don’t understand music.  You would be right.  My brain loves making supply and demand graphs and writing essays, but it can’t wrap itself around music.  This is how it usually goes down:

Me: “Listen to it. Feel it. How does the music make me feel right now?”
Brain: “Hungry. Oh wait, that’s just because you were too lazy to eat breakfast.”
Me: “No! Try again! What different instruments do you hear? How do they blend together?”
Brain: “Its all one thing! Music: •an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner”
Me: “I didn’t ask for a definition.  Let the music move you.  Connect with the music!”

At this point, my annoyingly sarcastic brain starts ignoring me and begins hatching some new plan on how to make an underwater trans-Atlantic highway leaving me quite alone to just stand there, straining to hear something that my brain refuses to listen to.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

The best I can do is concentrate on the lyrics.  See, what melodies and notes and the essence of all that is music is to you, is what words are to me.  The way they blend together, play off of each other, create meanings and skew meanings, that is beautiful to me.  I’m not just talking about poetry (which happens to be my least favorite genre).  Writing can say so much or so little.  It just is.  So, the music that I truly enjoy is the music that has  lyrics that I find the most significant.  I realize that good lyrics doesn’t mean good music but focusing on the words is the only way music and I can maintain a semi-amicable relationship.

It doesn’t help that my entire family was sprinkled with magical music dust at birth.  My dad has his degree in audio engineering, my mom can play various instruments, and my sister dances as her career.  The extended family is equally gifted (masters in music, organ players, violin players, soon-to-be in an orchestra trombone players).  Everyone……except for me.

If you are like my family and have a super deep connection with music, good for you.  Please don’t hate me or this blog.  Instead, go and listen or play some incredible music and enjoy it to its full capacity for me.  I’ll be sitting here with my words, typing……….and typing………..still typing…..