Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Magic of Music

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. " - Victor Hugo

I can’t imagine a life without music being a huge part of it. As it was my ‘first life’ as I call it, playing in the symphony taught me more than any single course in school. It taught me to think with my heart instead of my brain, to work in a cohesive group in spite of egos, politics and competitive and artistic natures. No matter how quickly tempers flared and one might have competed with another for that ‘special part’, once we were on that stage, it all disappeared and was replaced with a desire to do our best, and come together as one single unit, giving and taking and meshing in the most perfect way possible. All that mattered was the end result, the pleasure of those listening, and their desire to come back again and again and share in the beauty of an exquisite piece of music.

It’s team work at its best…. mindful of colleagues, cognisant of their talents and how they could intertwine with your own, silently cheering them on when they would play a solo and shine. And as I sit here working in my office and listening to the BBC online, it all comes back to me….the grueling practice, the striving for that passage to be more perfect the next time around….the hours upon hours of playing that one difficult section until I could hear and picture it in my sleep.

What if we approached life like that? Wanting the best for others, letting go of power trips, egos, taking the time to ask of others what it is they want for their lives? And listening!

But what if? And what would it take to make it happen?

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” - Cecil Beaton.

Life is anything but commonplace. We might try to force it into a box that says "normal" but what about our lives is normal? I met someone this week who reminded me why music is such an important part of my life...my being ...and that's because it doesn't fit any mold. It permeates our soul unlike anything else can, becomes one with us beyond time, place, circumstance or experience. To put that into words is next to impossible, but to feel it through a piece of music is.

If we did that with life, took down all barriers and let life in, ahh then that would be more than 'diving into the deep end of each day'. It would be diving into the deep end of life.

Music is magical. Magic and the extraordinary does exist in our every day lives when we take the time to notice, embrace it and welcome it. What a gift! Thank you for the reminder. It's not something that I would ever want to take for granted.

It's not always easy thinking with your heart, but I wouldn't want to be any other way, because if I tried, it wouldn't be me.

Donna Karlin

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