Mending with Music

Music. Music stirs me. It is so consistent in its abilities to make me feel.


When I listen to a live performance, I will inevitably listen to my own tears.


I make sure I listen so well that I have no choice but to cry. At least for one song, tears are free to fall. I give them freedom to be what they are, to leave me, and soak my skin, wet my shirt. They can be themselves and so can I. And that's how I know I've truly listened.


Mostly, in listening to song, my body moves to rhythm and finds its own rhythm to weave. It blends into the streams of sounds, the circles and the lines. It dances a soft dance that I contain because I'm in public. My head moves one way, my fingers move another way, my left foot and my right foot as if on two different bodies. But quietly, without too much movement or it will become a wild dance.


And then there's a moment, after listening to many songs, that my body stops moving. It is completely still and it absorbs sound differently, unlike its silent dance. In that listening, absorbed in sound, I can taste everything. The body has to be still. The eyes must close. And the only choice in that moment is to be with every sound. And then I am myself.


Not talking. Just quiet. Being neither social nor antisocial. Not being needed or needing. Not sounding right or wrong and not doing right or wrong. Being neither good nor bad. Not coming or going. Not even dancing. Just still. Just still. Just me.


It's important, now that I am alone, to be in those moments frequently.


So tonight, I am writing just a couple hours after such an experience.


I am thankful to have had this experience tonight, while listening to my brother and cousins play in their band, Avatar, at a brewery. Their music is rhythmic and meditative, humble and asks of nothing. Toward the end of their session I felt a sense of the band Sigur Ros in them, and remembered that this quality is what motivated me to be there. As exhausted as I was after having the kids for my portion of the week, I pushed myself to go right after I had just about given up on going.


The tears needed to show themselves today. For years now I go months and months without shedding a tear. I am not suppressing tears or sadness. I would often wonder, is it really that I am so unfettered these days, is it true that I see things so differently that I see no need for tears? I still have no answer for this.


And so, thankfully I listened when I told myself I had to be there tonight. Thankfully I listened when I told myself I was there to listen and not socialize. While awkward, it didn't matter. I decided to sit away from the social atmosphere that formed with my relatives there so that I could be at the front and truly listen at a table on my own.


In that listening, I felt this relationship that ended 4 days ago, though it feels like 20, slowly release itself from me and I from it.


It is hard. Relationship.


Why we do this thing, I don't understand it. Something, some growth and development, something is supposed to come out of this thing, this "it," relationship. But all I know that comes out of intimate relationship is confirmation that I do not like it. I do not like relationship. We humans deceive ourselves so easily, so willingly, and pay for it dearly in the end. It is shocking to me each time I am reminded - it doesn't work.


I do not hope nor wish for this or for that, because grass is never greener on the other side. It's the same color there as it is here, it's the lighting that makes it appear better from where you are. But it's all the same. And when you get to the other side, there is nothing waiting there but your own disappointment.


And knowing this, I am grieving. Grieving the ideas of intimate relationship. In my mind, they were dying, but now they are dead. People are in too much pain and are too involved in the illusions that make this life to be healthily in it, relationship. Suffer alone or suffer with another. I am choosing alone, because one must know how to be peacefully alone in order to be peacefully alone with others.


Music helps me reach in and dig this pain out. I think it's not there, but it must be.


For this reason, I trust music and closely, very closely, I listen.




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