During the past few months, I have had a brush with a serious illness which I just narrowly escaped. Without going into detail, I wanted to talk about the role that music had while I was going through this very hard time. Music has been my lifeline, my purpose, my source of great joy and inspiration since I was a small child. I have sung and played the piano my whole life. But suddenly, once given an austere diagnosis, I didn't want to hear music. I had no desire to sing or play the piano or even listen to the radio or CD's. I thought music would be healing for me. Instead, I wanted silence. I needed silence. I needed the clarity and peace that silence brings. Sometimes I tried to listen, but like eating when you are sick to your stomach (which I wasn't), I just couldn't appreciate it and quickly turned the music off.
My life has drastically changed now (after having been given the "get out of jail free" card, so to speak). And I love music again. I am so fascinated by this reaction I had to music and I wanted to share with you what was going on and what I've discovered. Music is powerful. Music opens up your emotions like a key to a door (I'm trying my best not to sound corny here!). While I was in survival mode, I could not afford to have this access to my feelings. I needed to suppress them. It would be like being caught in a viscious hurricane out at sea and someone saying to you, "now, how do you feel right now? Are you scared and sad?". There's no time for these questions. You are too busy staying focused and fighting and doing what needs to get done to survive the storm.
I guess that after all of these years of studying, teaching, playing piano, singing, listening to music, that I didn't really realize the intense power of music. So strong a port to the soul that I had to brandish it for a time.
Now it is back in my life. I can hear it again and feel what it brings to the surface. I can afford to be sad and not be afraid of where that sadness brings me. Music is bringing my feelings and me back to life again.