And on that drive, as the miles fly me by- day after day – clouds are wispy across the bright blue sky and I’m holding on by a thread. On those 67 miles to and from my emotionally captivating work – I leave behind me two tender faces wondering who will be home first, what’s for dinner tonight and I love you mama. It’s the music that supports me to my core – vibrating the fluid in my chest – settling into muscles and bones, cradling me in the only thing that I can believe in – that nothing is permanent and change will continue to move all around me.
Coming off of a recent loss – holding cancer in my hands – watching and tending to her death like a midwife who waits for the baby to join us. I watched her breathing and stirred the soup and waited and it was music that held the pieces together.
The rhythm and melody gently rocks us from side to side. And when the wind came that morning and her spirit lifted, it was the haunting Jewish chants at her funeral – unfamiliar to my Christian ears that were somehow strangely comforting. Not understanding any of the words – it was only the pure tenor melodic line and minor rhapsody that confirmed my grief to the innermost ear and reached the depth of my soul.
Where is her voice – I need it now. I need to hear it, sing to me, hold this fragile space around me when everything is crumbling down.
A direct connection to our physiology – a subtle change in heartbeat, or respiration – I am subconsciously swayed gently to the pull that rhythm has on our bodies like the undertow of the current. I see this everyday in the mystery of how music therapy supports the process of dying or the process of healing as I bring music interventions and intuition to the patients I work with everyday.
I see the relief on their faces, the muscles relax and fall from fear or tension – the soothing nature of what is familiar to us from the womb to wherever we are now. It’s a confirmation that what we are attempting to endure now, is not forever. That music was part of something before this time and we will see a time in the future that will also feel very different than what’s right in front of us.
Nothing wraps the human experience of suffering and pain like the comfort of a song.
I believe in music. I believe that when I am thirsty for replenishment and when I am desperate for confirmation – music can meet me – it’s what I need, when I need it – in a way that nothing else can.
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