You know, music really can make life feel worth living.
These past few weeks have been really odd for me, and this week, especially, has been quite filled (to partial explosion) with stress, and an odd kind at that. This afternoon, as I had still two hours to fill, after what had felt like a day’s worth of work and several hours of painful efforts to sleep, I put on my jacket and rushed out into the hallways to get myself moving around, and in hopes of finding something to help pass the time, preferably involving movement (thus my vague plan of aiming for the gymnasium).
The music students are currently preparing solos (with piano accompaniment), and so I came across one of my lovelies (the Bass player) rehearsing in the hallway/student entrance area (there’s a piano there) with her accompanist. They welcomed me joyfully, and so I watched and hopped around (it was filthy cold) with semi-frozen delight for a bit.
They finished after not quite ten minutes, and so I wandered on my way toward the gym again. As I was making the final turn, I was caught by a trumpet and a couple clarinets (which was fine by me). One of them had told me that she wants to play with me, but our scheduled time for today had to be canceled, because she had to go home after rehearsal. But she was here now, and practicing…, so she dragged me in and got me to play a bit (though not together, since we only had one trumpet).
Then, when I thought they were all leaving, they told me to come with them upstairs to what turned out to be a brief a capella singing rehearsal. They were sopranos, so I got to stand with them and learn the soprano part to a very pretty Japanese song. It was almost spooky how cool it sounded and felt to be in the group, making such beautiful music.
Afterward, we established that one girl is crazy, and I declared my similar mental state. She and I, and others off and on, proceeded to dance around to the music of others rehearsing… we high fived as I was about to leave, as a sign of joint craziness and joy, and I said my goodbyes to the room, with lots of love in reply. I truly felt myself at home with this goofy group of musicians.
As I rushed out the door, and put back on my shoes, a flautist was in the hallway, next to my shoes. He excused himself, and I said, “Play!” Instantly, and with a smile and an “Okay,” he played part of his solo piece for me. It was beautiful.
And it was standing there in that freeing hallway, listening to this boy play flute, that the thought crossed my mind, unbitten, “Music really can make life worth living.”
As I have struggled with life lately, – and no, I don’t mean in the sense of giving up on life as a whole, but just on giving up on this part of life, living here and doing this job and all of that – what has gotten me through every time has been music. Sometimes it has been live music from these kids at school, or from the guitar I got as an early Christmas present last week. Sometimes it has been from Spotify or my music collection. And sometimes even just a single song that a friend sent me from YouTube.
Whatever the case, the source of my survival, my strength, my belief that this life is worth continuing and working at, despite its near-overwhelming hardships, has been music. I finally understand a bit what a friend of mine meant, when she said she felt like she had died, when she lost her hearing and, thereby, music. When I don’t have the music, I just get used to the solemn melancholy, the deafening silence of a lifestyle I don’t love – I grow accustomed to not living, and I despise the existence (but that all just becomes the norm). And when I do have the music, I am excited for today, for right now, and for what tomorrow might bring – I feel the life inside me and all around me, and I yearn to spread myself around and live to the fullest.
Music really does give life and make life worth living, even when it feels like you have nothing else for you.