Now that my life is gentler, kinder (& infinitely better), music is mostly about inspiration & enjoyment. I can’t imagine a world w/out music… Could I live now? Certainly. But how would I know the inner workings of various friends & family? My sons, for instance, like very different kinds of music, with little overlap. When they share music with me, I learn more about who they are inside, what they love & fear & value. Music does that for us.
I’m pretty eclectic in my own musical tastes. Right now I’m listening to hip-hop, not the usual soundtrack for a Buddhist Unitarian blog post. And yet… The lyrics to this particular song talk about dreams dying in the inner city, about the waste of lives sacrificed to drugs… Aren’t these the very heart of Unitarian social justice? Engaged Buddhism?
There is also the Brazilian music shared with me by Misha, the music I pick up on Spotify from Todd. There’s the jazz my friend Ben nods his head to at work, and the heart-searing music our department accountant sends me from YouTube. Every time someone sends me a music recommendation — even more than a book title — I learn about them. I feel closer to them, more ‘in tune’…
So here’s a toast to the albums I filled my album with when I was sent home from Thailand (who needs clothes when you have music?). Here’s to the CDs I packed when I left Saudi Arabia before the war. And here’s to the threads of melody & the riffs of jazz & the beats of hip-hop & the lyric a capella notes that have, time & again, lifted me on wings. Given me voice.
When people ask me what there is to celebrate in our messy fragmentary lives these days, I think of music. Not only the music of birds, but the polyphonic harmonies of us. Human beings. Messy, fragmented human beings. How amazing is that ~