Listening to Falling Off Maps… A Seaside Town In Winter (Post on that this weekend.) It’s cinematic and wonderful!
Our world has become almost instantaneous. You text or post and within seconds people have read your innermost thoughts and opined on them. As cold and distant as technology can be, it is also remarkably intimate. This blog allows me to express myself, to put my heart on many sleeves and to connect with all of you. It is not simply that I want to write… or love to write, which I do… but that I NEED to write. It is part of who I am and just one more way to communicate and share. This seemingly simple act brings us closer together, allows for shared passions, and opens up amazing discussions and dialogues. That was always its main intention. Not musical criticism, but musical connections… musical bonds.
It starts with ideas, that are then formulated into words… And they come to us in strange and mysterious ways. As writers, we try to pare them down, get to the essential meaning… find the most clear and powerful definition. Being specific is key, so that we can get the reader to identify with what we are saying… understand it, and then relate it back to their own personal experience. But sometimes what is specific to us, clear in our own thoughts, becomes something completely different to someone else. We are all different, of course, all unique, so this is not unusual, but sometimes that can be frustrating for the communicator.
Let me explain. In my master bedroom is a bay window, that is divided into 12 equal square panes. Each one captures a very specific section… a picture of the front yard, the tree outside, the house across the street, etc. The beveled edges act as a frame for each square, but also reflect the light and the various images. It is fascinating to look at… like a living, moving and breathing painting. One can easily stare and get lost in the visuals, and the other day I did. I focused on one square that had branches of the tree in the foreground… and the sky and mountains in the background. It was calm and stunning… serene and beautiful. It gave me a real peace and happiness. Yet within a few moments, tears streamed down my cheeks. No explanation… nothing had changed. The beauty of what I was seeing hit me so deeply that it took my emotions to another level.
“In life’s beauty, there is darkness.
In the darkness, there is beauty.
Allow our eyes to see both, but our mind and soul to hold only one.”
I thought it clearly reflected what I was experiencing, without specifically discussing the impetus, the window, etc. Clearly it did not, as the dialogue went off on some interesting paths.
I edited myself and then wrote:
“In life’s beauty, there is sadness.
In the sadness, there is beauty.
Allow us to see both, feel both, but in our mind and soul, hold only one.”
My point was that sometimes beauty, and in turn love, can be so strong, so powerful that it changes our happiness… or perhaps deepens it to the point of an even rawer emotion. In life, every single thing has many sides… even thoughts. There is always an undercurrent of sadness in joy, and vice versa. We are at once happy… and sad.
Our emotions flow like water. They do not start and stop… they are constant… they continue… through sleep and being awake. Buddhism explains this much better than I can.
Yes, our brains work in mysterious ways… and if yours is like mine it never shuts up. But this was not that… this was not me becoming sad at the fleeting nature of life and beauty… realizing that all things must fade and die… none of those thoughts were at all present. This was being so lost in the simple power and elegance of what I was seeing that I started to cry.
It makes sense to me with a song, and my buddy Doug and I were discussing this. Lyrics that once gave us a simple bliss and a very pointed meaning in our youth, become very different, more profound later in life. With years and water under the bridge, we drift to very different places in our mind and soul.
So what does all this mean? For me, it’s my journey… a recognition that we must never ignore what we feel and experience, but learn from it. Embrace the sadness and pain, or at least acknowledge that it’s there, but by all means run towards bliss and happiness… fight for it. Life will always give us challenges… pain… loss, so why add that into the mix yourself. Find the quiet… the Zen… the positive…
Do things that make you happy… things that you love…
Take the time to stop and smell the roses… the wine… the air… the trees… and by all means, stop and listen to the music. Hear it… Really hear it… deeply… passionately. Let it guide you and take you to those meaningful places… Let it grow with you… play beside you… and wash over you. Yes… this Jewish boy loves using the imagery of a musical baptism!!!
There is power in a single note… ferocity in a chord… and the world in a song. (This one is mine…)
This one is Pete’s…
“There once was a note, pure and easy
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by
The note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me
Forever we blend it, forever we die
I listened and I heard music in a word
And words when you played your guitar
The noise that I was hearing
Was a million people cheering
And a child flew past me riding in a star.”
– “Pure And Easy” (Pete Townshend)