It’s an understanding force
You might feel like you are pent up at home, working in a bubble with no real way to get out. Or you might feel cut off from your normal socialization with friends and family and that there is too much silence around you. I know I do.
But there is something that you can do right now to make your days during the pandemic more joyful. And it will sustain you through your frustrations and fears, as well as making you feel like you’ve got a friend and understanding force in your life.
Honestly, in the last long while, we’ve been so distracted, so busy, that we haven’t had the time to focus on the good stuff in life. One of those deeper experiences is spending time with music. Really taking the time to listen, to look, to experience.
If you find yourself constantly checking your phone or the news, there is another alternative — something that will fill your mind with curiosity, beauty, excitement and serenity — all things that are a bit sparse these days. You don’t have to be connecting physically to a person, and yet through music and many of the arts, you can connect directly and intimately to someone — their ideas, their feelings, their perspective and thought.
Don’t be frustrated. Be inspired instead.
It’s an amazing feeling to have intimacy with someone especially at a time like this. And music, literature, art — all of it can give you this intimacy and inspiration from within itself, this feeling that you are missing right now in “normal” life. Through your direct connection to it, it can make you feel like it connects to your personal experiences, moods and feelings too. Sometimes the music matches whatever we want it to be in that moment. It seems to understand how we feel and we can just “be” with that feeling for awhile.
It is an understanding force that connects to us in the way that we choose.
Part of this is because it’s us that chooses the music that we listen to and explore. We often might listen to certain bands or pieces that we already know and love and these match us, almost feeling like they belong to us or define us, as our clothes or our personality do. They seem to understand us just in their closeness— how familiar we are to them. They are old friends. “You again” you say. There’s great comfort in this relationship.
But any great friend teaches us and influences us with new ideas and new directions. And similarly, when we explore music or literature or art, we start somewhere which is “us” and then we travel with it, and explore new ideas that are just steps away. We are constantly moving and experiencing new things. It’s wordless. So part of what we explore is just feeling and imagination — there are no specifics other than what we reflect back.
Right now it seems difficult to experience new things, or to travel anywhere at all. If you focus on your newsfeed, often it shows the same ideas spinning in circles. But the arts reach out and look back a long way connecting to ideas and trends of history, other cultures, other perspectives. They teach us and enrich us with deeper understanding about things and people that matter, not the surface stuff that just frustrates.
When you need an understanding force to match your mood — be sad with you when you want it, or cheer you up when you want to just get out there and dance but you can’t — music will be there.
Right now, music will give you a chance to journey and explore. We can understand others, gain perspective about the world. In classical music we can understand revolution through the mind of Beethoven and pent up fear and pain through the veiled music of Shostakovich. We can explore and ponder the lyrics in a Leonard Cohen song or explore a guitar improvisation with Frank Zappa. We can zen out with Philip Glass. We can get to know a culture, a mindset, another era.
Don’t drive yourself crazy checking your phone every two seconds trying to find something to stimulate your mind.
Make a decision to spend every day connecting to the great minds and imagination that’s out there which will connect you to something that will fulfill you in a much better way.
And that way you won’t feel alone. And you won’t feel like you can’t travel anywhere. Because you can.