Ever since I can remember, I have loved music; from my Dad’s 8-track of Patty Page singing Mockingbird Hill to my first concert of Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Playing the piccolo in kindergarten, then moving to the flute once my fingers could reach the keys was one of my earliest memories of the magic of music and the joy in making it.
Music has been there for me through the absolute darkest of depressions to the highest high of mania and every moment and mood in between. Music takes me completely out of myself; I join the beat, become the rhythm, the cadence and the mood of the piece. I cannot hear a gospel song without thinking of the time spend in Biloxi, or of my grandma Jo-Jo’s slow southern drawl “Come over here and give your grandma some sugar…” I’m there. Again. Bugs and brilliant skies, heat and humidity, the Baptist church on the corner with its window open, pouring out the love of God along with the heart and soul of its people. The notes carry along their prayers, their hopes, their troubles and their declarations of faith. I can feel it in my soul and it feels electric and alive.
Lately, I have been feeling a little dragged down by Life (it happens to the best of us) but today I decided to sing my blues away. I put on my very favorite playlist, the one that I simply cannot sit still when it’s playing and can’t keep a smile off my face if you gave me all the Botox in California. This is the solid gold, get you feeling good playlist.
I can tell you that it feels like I have gotten those negative feelings out of the forefront of my mind and locked them away, starving them of any attention that would encourage their growth. It seems like such a simple thing to do because it is. It’s not going to get me out of a deeply depressed state, but it may shine enough light into my soul that I can believe I will survive. Music motivates me, calms me, inspires me, reminds me of people and places, memories and imaginings. If the eyes are the window to the soul, music is the road that takes you there.
I’ve been relying for too long on my intellect and my logic to unravel the mysteries of the mind and I know believe that my soul, my intuition and music will be the missing link in my understanding.
Musicians and songwriters, singers and band leaders and all those who create the magic and share it with the rest of us, feeding our souls and soothing our hearts – thank you for the music! Keep writing, keep playing and singing and telling your stories, our stories. I’ll keep listening, I promise!