Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Raison d'etre

A friend recently asked me my opinions on music.  I figured after a flippantly written blogpost about my replay music lately, that I should address the overall concept of music in my life.

It's only when we lose the influence of something significant in our lives that we often stop and realize what it meant to us.  The times I've most noticed music in my life was when I noticed a lack of it.

Last year, for a few months, I had significant problems with my voice.  I wasn't sure the cause - sickness, stress, strain from singing in my acapella group - but I suffered through several multiple-week bouts of not being able to sing.  It was only then - when I had to consciously stop myself to prevent damage to my sore vocal cords - that I realized how often I sang.  After this period was over, my roommate told me.  "It's nice that you have your voice back again.  You're happier now that you can sing again and you sing when you're happy."  I hadn't ever thought about it in that way before.    I laughed at her since I feel like I sing even when I'm not happy.  However, there must be some truth to it because, last week, when I ran around the house as I got ready for the day, my roommate greeted me in the hallway, "You're certainly in a great mood this morning.  Did you get some good news?"  I looked at her in surprise.  "Yes, but how did you know?"  She laughed.  "You were singing."

One of the most obvious times in my life when music played a very different role in my life was my mission.  I didn't mind the rules - only hymns and classical music on Sunday mornings and preparation days - and memorized and sang hymns while I rode my bike or walked so that I felt no lack.  Or thought I didn't.  In my last month of my mission though, I went over to a family's house that I had seen at church but never spent much time with.  As my companion and I made our bows and shook our new friend's hand and switched out of our shoes and into house slippers in the entry way, I noticed some classical music was playing in the background.  The next conscious thought I have was that both my companion and the woman were staring at me open-mouthed from the entry way.  I had somehow made my way, uninvited, into the living room and situated myself right next to the radio.   I wasn't sure how long I had been there.  To cover up my rudeness and my embarrassment, I smiled, "Oh, is this Handel's Water Music?  I used to play the violin and I played this piece."  But it was a wake-up call: I loved music - and I missed it desperately.

Can I imagine my life without music?  No.

Can I really comprehend exactly how much music has influenced me?  No.

But I know it has and does.  And I am glad for it.

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