A darkened theatre. A stage in black. A spotlight. A band walks out and the music starts. But even if that music was played in complete darkness, it would still light up our souls.
Music illuminates. Music shines a light on what is important, on what we are feeling and thinking. It sets the heart ablaze and guides us to love, an evening of romance… a candlelit dinner with Sinatra or Nat King Cole on the stereo. The rock show, the jazz club, the three-day music festival, the opera, the symphony… the love song.
Music guides us to protest, to take action. Just look at the soundtrack to the 1960s. The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young… Look at Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger… Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen. Songs of hope, songs of freedom.
Music is a beacon. It is promise… it is belief… it is power… Music is light. Happy Chanukah.
If you are so inclined to read about a Jewish take on this holiday and on light itself, please check out my other blog:
There will be very similar themes, with different approaches… but ultimately the message is the same… Find the light within yourself and let it radiate outwards… let it guide you to an elevated life, a musical life, a joyous life, an awesome life.
Just like one artist, one band, influences another, sets a musical history in motion. A single flame, a single person can set the world on fire… Not in the destructive way, but in the inspirational, motivational, life-affirming way.
Fire is a duality, like most things… most elements in life. Words have many definitions, many interpretations… and words are often defined by their opposites. Good, for example, is given more power because of bad or evil. In a world where there are so many bad things, the power of good is that much stronger, something to strive for and attain.
Fire brought light and warmth to the world, to mankind… And while it can create, it can also destroy… So the power of fire lies in the keeper of the flame.
I like the word flame better in this regard. Though “setting a heart on fire”… or the “fire of our loins” are nice, clearly defined phrases. And hot ones! (Ha).
Billy Joel said:
“We didn’t start the fire.
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning…”
Maybe… depending on what you believe in. But it is our duty to keep it burning, It is our job to take one light and use it to light another and another… The smallest flame, the tiniest whisper can start a revolution… all we need do is light up (yeah, yeah…), speak up… and sing up or out… LOUD! Remember… This one goes to ELEVEN!!!
So as we begin to light candles… to celebrate Chanukah… to celebrate miracles large and small… Let us all glow… let us all shine… let the music in, and the darkness out. Sing it, Elton!
“Shine a light, shine a light… shine a light, won’t you shine a light…”