Friday, November 28, 2014

Music Memory

"Music is a world within itself, it is a language we all understand." Stevie Wonder

Songs are like portals for time travel, I hear a familiar melody and I am transported to another place and time. My imagination soars, my heart opens, and my senses come alive.  Listening or playing music connects my inner world to my outer world.  To me, music is sacred, it is a way of communicating without words. Sounds that string together in beautiful harmonies excite, inspire and strengthen me. My intimate relationships are bound by music.

Songs are powerful. They remind me of loved ones living and gone, situations in the past that have taught me lessons, and filled me with joy. Music can also keep me in the present moment. When I hear music that attracts me, I am transfixed, unmoving, waiting to hear the next note. Creating, writing, and playing music is a magical experience. The energy of playing with other musicians is like being in an orbit of circular sound, a tornado of emotion, expression and feeling.

Music has illuminated my happy times and carried me through sad times. Music can change my mood, my thoughts, my perception, in one moment.

Music brings people together, the common rhythm shared is the pulse of life.

One day, I was heading into Harvard Square with my sister after the recent passing of my Aunt. She was a woman of precise creativity, style and beauty. Cambridge was her home and she loved it there. On the escalator, literally being lifted out of the underground, the musicians of the subway serenaded us with Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven", the song performed by my Uncle on the day of my Aunt's memorial service. My sister and I felt her presence that day, welcoming us into her world.

My heart is heavy and raw with the loss of another beautiful soul filled with music and love. Sudden illness can take a person out of our living world so quickly, it is shocking, and leaves an empty space in the center of my being.

This post is dedicated to my Uncle Tom, a man who spoke the language of music effortlessly, and expressed his love through music. It was his heart and soul. You could hear it in the way he played guitar and the songs he sang.

The day I finished writing his eulogy, I had worked the night before and needed rest, but awoke with a start to my alarm that afternoon. Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" floated into my bedroom as if it was sung by my Uncle. "Happiness, no more be sad, happiness.... I'm glad."

Music is what feeling sounds like, the thumping rhythm of a bass note, the wailing cry of a guitar, the beating of drums and the soft melody of a piano. It's the sunshine of your love, the leaves falling all around, the sounds of silence, and in the ice that's slowly melting.
All it takes is one song to bring back a thousand memories. We all have that one song that fills up our senses and brings us back to a certain place and time. When we close our eyes and listen, we can travel back in time and re-live our memories over and over again.