A Late Entry… Music (Passions Profile Challenge #3)

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It’s funny how the more I’ve thought about what I’m passionate about, as part of this Passions Profile Challenge, the more that comes to mind.  So I’m taking the liberty of adding one, I previously failed to mention.  Music has always been a part of my life, earlier in my life it had been about learning and participation.  Now it is about listening and using music to identify, soothe and arouse feelings.  I have what you might describe as a weird taste in music.  I don’t care.  I like what I like and much of my taste has been shaped by life.

Yes, that is a hymn and that’s where it starts.  If you’re starting to turn off, bear with me.  Having been raised in a moderately traditional Baptist church, hymns and other church music is what I was raised on.  By the way, back then it wasn’t Van Morrison, but I prefer it this way.  As a child though I can remember after services trying to make the church organ make a noise.  We were probably not popular with the organist but I think it was the first instrument I ever attempted to play.  Even though I don’t go to church often now days there is something of a second skin feeling in church music that leaves me feeling like I’ve ‘come home’.  Unfortunately that doesn’t travel to the rest of the environment but that’s for another post.

In my family we were encouraged to learn an instrument.  Over the years, I went through recorder, piano, guitar, flute and clarinet lessons.  I was literally a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’.  The flute was really the only one I mastered with any sort of skill.  I also sang, and was in the church choir at seven followed by all the school choirs.  I proved I had a good voice, although lacked a little on the confidence side.  While at high school I desperately wanted singing lessons, along with many of the other girls in the choirs.  My parents refused, saying my voice needed to mature before I had lessons.  Whether or not they were right, I don’t know, but I felt extremely hard done by.

As an adult I was very involved in church music for some years in singing, leading and playing my flute.  Actually the music is the thing I missed most when I dropped out at the age of 28.  Participating in music had always been a central part of my life, but now my opportunity was gone and because my mental health crumbled at the same time, I wasn’t able to seek out new avenues.  Shortly after leaving the church scene I had my flute stolen (totally unrelated).  I wasn’t well by now but I was encouraged to replace it.  I did, with one that seemed inferior (the tone was all wrong) to what I had previously and sadly it has sat in my cupboard ever since ( nearly 20 years ago).  Yes, it is sad but I guess I lost my passion for music at that point.  Actually I lost my passion for everything.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which
it is impossible to be silent.” 

~Victor Hugo

But what I did start doing more of was listening to music.  I don’t think it was a conscious thing, maybe it started out as an attempt to fill the gap of silence.  Then it grew to using it to identify feelings.  Somehow musicians could always say it better than me.  Not just with words though.  There is amazing expression in instrumental music and sometimes I just prefer no words.  Listen to this one if you will.  No, you probably won’t find it on your iPod but you have to agree that there is feeling in it.  And no one has put words to it, thus limiting where my mind can travel as I listen.  It comes from the movie, Brassed Off (one of my favourites).

While I love instrumental music I also love acoustic music.  Maybe that comes from a background of learning instruments but there is something wonderful about being able to detect a particular instrument playing.  It suggests a piece of music was actually written on a manuscript and it wasn’t just created out of a computer.

Now that I feel less distressed I continue to use music to listen to, because it still says what I wish I could find the words to say so often.  I admit that I am one of those people who sing in their car, actually now days that’s the only place I sing.  Sad, I know.  Humourous, for other drivers watching.  Does anyone remember the KFC advert from years ago of the two kids singing in the back seat of the car?  I blame that advert for me still singing in the car today.  And yes, I still know all the words.  That said, I hope to slightly redeem myself by assuring you that I have never been a shower singer.  Not sure why.  I’ve tried once or twice, but it’s never taken on.

Back to a serious note, I feel a bit sad that my own expression of music has died.  A couple of years ago I was invited to join a jazz band but my serious lack of practise for so long, and even more so, my fear of having to manage the whole social interaction side of things made me run a mile.  My anxiety was tested so much in simply going to work every day that the thought of participating in a group based on some expected level of skill was too much.  But I’m not going to let that get me down.  Maybe the right time will come, maybe it won’t.  I’m at peace with it.  Meantime though, music will always be a passion of mine… to experience for myself and to share with others.  Love it!

Image via Trying God’s Patience
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6 thoughts on “A Late Entry… Music (Passions Profile Challenge #3)

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