Eye of the beholder
Describe what it feels like to hear a beautiful piece of music or see a stunning piece of art.
Music moves me in a million different directions. I saw a quote recently that said, “all it takes is one song to bring back a thousand memories.” And if the song itself is not familiar, the effect remains. Sounds are like smells, they are locked in and there are some songs I avoid due to the memories and feelings they bring back.
Something so simple as texting my husband when he had not responded in a while brought back a song along with so many memories and they have clung to me for days now. He had not responded in a normal frame of time to my text so I sent, “Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me….Is there anyone home?” My intent was to be funny but it flooded me with the sound of one of my all time favorite Pink Floyd songs and the timeframe I used to listen to Pink Floyd albums on repeat…..high school and college.
I began to examine the song in my mind as an adult and thought to myself, “thankfully, at this time in my life I am not comfortably numb. In fact, I am quite uncomfortably aware.” But I went back to my high school and college days when my best friend and I were deep and angsty. We were silly, fun and goofy but also deep, philosophical and introspective as teens often are. We thought we were connected to something big…and we probably were.
I went back in my mind to how I felt in my teenage years and how open, vulnerable, hopeful and also worried I was. I thought being an adult would be my pie in the sky. I was starry eyed and full of curiosity. Not too different from today. Even then I was not comfortably numb…but maybe in some way I admired those who were. I was intrigued by darkness. Somewhere in the darkness was the juiciness of life. Because out of the darkness comes the light…again, those hidden spaces where God resides.
Pink Floyd always hit me in the gut…sometimes with sadness, sometimes with hope and freedom, sometimes with defiance….a million different emotional directions.
I feel music. I feel it on the surface of my skin and all the way into the depths of my being. It floods me with memories and with feelings. Classical music soothes me. Opera makes me feel silly wanting to sing loud and obnoxious. Mantra music brings me to tears. Soulful music, like Tom Petty, makes me feel reminiscent. Bluegrass and hip hop makes me want to dance. Amos Lee makes me want to connect. And on and on and on.
And so, “Comfortably Numb” plays in my mind. It caused me to look at my life, where I have been and where I am now. I began a Pink Floyd play list in my thoughts. “Learning to Fly” comes to mind and I feel exhilarated.
A soul in tension that’s learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I
“Yes, this is where I am now”, I think. Music moves me in a million different directions…sometimes all in my mind and just from a simple text to my husband wondering when he is coming home for dinner.