A Soul Craving Music

In the last week, or so, I have discovered that my soul is craving music again.  It’s so long since I’ve had that need, that I hardly remember it, and I certainly have little idea of what to do about it.  It’s completely unexpected. It just came from nowhere, that I need to listen to music (I mean really listen) and even more, I need to make music again.

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

— Victor Hugo

The music inside me, and the desire to make music, went a very long time ago.  As my life fell into a deep depression many years ago, I found tha,t if anything, music just made it all worse.  It was worse because music draws out emotion for me, and I couldn’t bear what it was drawing forth.  Music was not just a noise in the background.  It spoke right to my heart, even more so when I made my own music.  I had to silence it.  I did for a very long time.

Music was always an important part of my (previous) life.  I learnt instruments from the age of about seven.  First the recorder, then piano, guitar, flute and voice.  I was never going to be a virtuoso.  I didn’t put in enough practice.  I wanted to play because I could and lacked the discipline to excel.  I studied music right through school and by high school was in every choir, orchestra or event going.

While my parents encouraged, and paid for, the music lessons they didn’t support my desire to excel further in voice. I always felt sad about that because when I sang, my heart opened.  It was a feeling I didn’t get anywhere else.  I continued in my own way by being heavily involved in music as what I’ll call a practising Christian.  The music was largely the reason I went to church.

When my mental illness started to kick in, the desire for music dropped out.  I also stopped going to church shortly after, and so again, the music went out of my life.  Actually I couldn’t bear to listen, let alone play music.  That was all aggravated further when I had my flute stolen soon after I got sick.

Any musician will understand that I loved the flute I had.  I loved the sound I got from it.  Now I had a new flute, purchased only because the Insurance company insisted, but it didn’t give me the same sound quality.  That was about 18 years ago, and I haven’t played my flute since.  As for my voice, it has largely remained quiet too.  I’ve sung at a few special weddings, but that’s it.  It was simply too hard, to let that sound out.

So now the desire returns.  It’s a little strange after all this time.  I listen to music, carefully chosen, and it brings emotion to surface.  I hear music and it reminds me of events, places  and people.  More so though, it brings to the surface feelings about those events, places and people.  It’s not a bad thing either.  It feels good, and so I listen to more.

The desire to make music is back even more strongly.  I’m not sure I can bring my flute out from the back cupboard.  After so long of no practice I hate to think how it would sound, and I’d still be disappointed by the tone of my ‘new’ flute.  But I’d like to sing again.  And not just in the car to make myself look ridiculous in the traffic.

Church music is no longer for me, although it will always have a special place in my heart because of the extent to which I was involved in it.  A few days back I was watching a Youtube clip of a friend’s son who was singing in a Jazz Band.  It was only short because his performance was interrupted by the Cook Strait earthquakes last Sunday (yes, it does seem that there is always an earthquake in New Zealand).  What I listened to left me with a ‘I’d love to do that‘ feeling.  I don’t know how or when, but I’m open to what comes my way.

My soul wants to sing again, and so it shall.  Music is, and has always been, about expression for me.  I need to express what is inside again.

And to express my mood about all this, is one of my long time favourites.  Maybe out of left field, but my music tastes are wide.  Close your eyes and listen.  It’s wonderful.

Awake my dear. 
Be kind to your sleeping heart. 
Take it out into the vast field of light 
and let it breathe.

~ Hafiz 

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2 thoughts on “A Soul Craving Music

  1. I understand. I have been through the darkness as well. I put down music for idk how long. I think it was like 10 years or so. After getting help for my mental/psycological issues, and leaving abusive relationships, I have begun again.

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