Music soothes Longing

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?

 

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9 Replies to “Music soothes Longing”

  1. Reblogged this on Sunrise, Sunset and commented:

    I have enjoyed visiting & revisiting re-posted Archived posts on Blogs I follow.  They are reposted typically because they have a significance to the Writer, and having the opportunity to read it (again) is a privilege.

    I am inspired to do the same; repost something from my archives, once each month this year. Care to join me and celebrate our Pasts together?  If you decide to join in, ping back to this post so I can find you.

    Last month, I revisited the idea of Seasons in our lives.  This month, in line with my conversations about Beauty, I relook the role of music in my Life.

    After the brush with pneumonia & the long ICU stay in May last year, it took a while to recover the ability to talk.  And sing.  As I struggled to regain control over my vocal chords, I promised myself that once I was better, I would do something more with my voice.  I have since begun singing lessons (with Mom & Dad).  Funnily & happily, the singing exercises have helped my running; using the breathing techniques I learn in our singing sessions, I can control my breathing better which translates into running faster & longer.  Once again, I am reminded of how precious music is.

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  2. I liked this when you first posted it, and I liked it even more this time, probably because I’ve read your blog longer and feel I know you better, so your thoughts on anything, including these passionate thoughts about music, have more significance for me. Perhaps that’s the beauty of publishing from one’s archive.

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    1. Thanks so much, Janet, for reading and re-reading! and for sharing your affirming response.

      My daughter says I am blessed with a short memory – I can forget a story I’ve read so that when I pick it up again, it’s almost like reading it anew! So, when I go back to my archives I surprise myself with the emotions that I’ve expressed, sometimes in a positive way (by how far I’ve come) and sometimes requiring a raised eyebrow.

      Like

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