This is written in response to Daily Post’s Daily Prompt, Longing
There are times in my life when I feel an inexplicable sense that something isn’t quite right in the universe, a longing for something that I can’t articulate; this is a feeling that Loving Husband has termed my “existential loneliness”. In these instances, the one thing that I turn to which helps soothe the persistent ache is music.
The musical foundation was laid from the early days of my childhood. I was always in a musical sound space, be it Bach or Beethoven or The Temptations or ABBA. Mother made sure that there was always something playing on the record player at home, or on the cassette player in the car. Father would habitually entertain us with his musical stories on the piano, sometime funny, sometimes scary, but always entertaining! I remember as a teen telling him about the latest edition of Tchaikovsky’s Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Sting, which was only available on CD. We went out together & bought a CD player, and then the CD!
There were songs which resonated with me at different times of my life which I listened to over and over again, especially during the periods of existential loneliness. Twila Paris “Warrior is a Child” got a lot of air time, as did Wilson Philips’ “Hold On”. There was also lots of music making: singing, playing the piano, composing, sometimes alone, something with a partner in crime.
Of late, I have learnt to recognise this existential loneliness as a longing for the Divine. I have come to accept that as long as I am on this earth, I will have this longing.
There are certain things which can assuage this longing and I can, if only for a moment, be transported to the presence of the Divine. Reading Frank Fitpatick’s 10-part series on music at earthtones.org , I begin to understand why I have such a strong affinity to music. At a talk at our local music conservatory, we were introduced to the idea that art & music serve to transport us to a different time, a different place, and in my case, to the Divine. Other things of beauty, like literature & scenic places, can also do this.
What about you? What can soothe your deepest longings?