Life is a relentless tide of new experiences. With terrific force, each wave crashes down and transforms the beach on which one stands. The old geography is washed away, pushing the old beach into memory and drawing out of the sands a new reality. It's not necessarily sad - each new wave reveals parts of the beach that were previously hidden - but so many waves can knock one of his feet and drag him into the depths.
How does one remain upright in the midst of such a tide?
This is a topic on which I would like to spend considerable time. I will probably return to it periodically from different angles. Tonight, however, I want to focus on the role of music.
Like an old friend, good music consoles and inspires in times of trial and change. Good music is ever ready to listen; its interpretation and creation bow to one's emotions and cognitions. When creating music, the result is an expression of the self and becomes an understanding friend. When listening to music, the interpretation is also an expression of the self and bridges the space between the observer and the performer.
Good music also plays the role of the persuasive friend. Its character, whether bright, energetic, thoughtful or tranquil, can invoke cheerful thoughts, stimulate activity, prompt serious reflection or generate calm acceptance. Just as a diverse pool of friends enriches our life experience, so too does a diverse music collection. With each new friend, we are able to see life in a new and different way.
As the tides of life come crashing down, music reminds us of our unique nature and gives us strength to stand firm.
Music is not a replacement for God, but it is one of his gifts. There are so many things which we have been given to help us stand firm and upright in the tides of life. For me, music is but one. When I feel heavy with emotion or sorrow or concern or stress, my musical instruments invite me to share what I am feeling. They respond to my dictation, and the creation becomes an expression of the inexplicable reality. What I could not express through words takes shape in the form of a melody or rhythm and affirms the reality of my emotions. Being able to hear the expression of my feelings fosters acceptance, which gives me strength to carry on and move forward.
What role has music played in your life? Are there any artists or songs or albums that have been especially influential?