My wife and I met on this day, years ago, through the musical connections we had at the time. It was a powerful moment, because we each had a preconceived notion of what the other would be like – she the “group president” … I the “organist” – and were shocked by the immediate connection.
We were talking last evening about how sharing music is something we have often taken for granted, and how important it is (and what a gift it is) that we share such similar tastes in the music we make and listen to. We listened to several songs by Sting, who has woven through much of our life together. We talked about some of the great choral music experiences we have had and the dreams of music to be made in the future.
I often put music and God in the same category, calling music a gift from God. But, in truth, I think they are one in the same. Music is miraculous in its creation, and has caused powerful connections and brought love to many. It can only be divine.
Yesterday we celebrated the end of a truly great choir season at church with a party at the home of two beloved choir members. The choir is “family” in so many different ways. In fact, in some cases we see each other more than our “real” extended family, and share in more of life’s ups and downs than even the closest in our lives. We get to make music together, which requires great trust in each other. Music is not just a technical thing, but emotional as well, so we also need to feel safe in sharing that in a group setting. When it works (and in this choir it does!), the result is an amazing group of people, first, and the secondary benefit of awesome music-making.
So, it is with some sadness that we take a break for the summer. It’s like we’re taking an extended vacation: Yes, it’s fun and necessary, but I’ll sure be glad to be back “home” in the fall!
I had a great conversation with one of my business colleagues yesterday about the tenuous relationship a person has with his/her subconscious “self.” I described this relationship, in my personal experience: “We’re like ambivalent co-workers — we work OK together, but don’t really like each other.” The real trick is getting out of my own way to allow my smarter, better-connected inner self to rule. (This is where those tired-but-true words of wisdom ring forth: “Trust your gut,” “Listen to your instincts,” etc.)
I am certain that the process of writing music is the closest I come to simply allowing the subconscious to take over. Evidence was at the ready this week: I wrote eight measures of music on Monday. On Tuesday, I realized it was written for a specific upcoming occasion (Memorial Day). Previous to this, there have been several occasions when music has emerged, and days later it has been clear that it was in dedication to someone who has passed on.
With all that life deals us, we need reminders that we have an inner connection to each other, to this earth, to the universe, to God. If we pay close attention, our success will be great, our lives will be fulfilling, our efforts will be meaningful.