It might be a strange way to begin this post, but here goes. I want to thank you for making it possible for me to sit for a half hour and listen to music. How did you do that? Technically I guess you were not responsible but because I was getting ready to write this post and ask you to sit and listen to music, I felt I needed to do what I was asking you to do
Last week Justin Stone (creator of Tai Chi Chih) asked us not to embroider sound. Several of you had great ideas about that, some of which are in the comment section. This week, Stone asks us to listen to music, hear the music without mental comment. He warns that not many of us will do that because our thoughts will begin to drift and soon we will be daydreaming. It will be more difficult to listen without mental comment than we think he adds.
What hooked me to experiment with his instructions (& I hope it entices you) is Stone declaring that music is unlike the other arts. In fact, he says that music is unlike anything in life.
Because music goes right to the heart, affecting the emotions, without going through the intellect.
I decided to sit in a comfortable chair by the window that has a view of our backyard and birdfeeder. I randomly picked Disc 2 from The Perlman Sound. Long time readers will remember a post about Itzhak Perlman who is my age.
Comfortably seated with a heavy cotton throw on my legs, I leaned back. As I listened to Perlman play the beautiful classical music, my Tennessee friend Jeanne, a gifted harpist, came to my mind. She died a few months ago. I thought how much she would like this album. The daydream continued because every time I am aware of Jeanne, I think of Larry who was my friend and also a friend of Jeanne. He died within several days of Jeanne’s death. As I was feeling feelings that go with missing these dear friends, a bright red cardinal swooped down to the feeder.
Since my Mother died in 1997, whenever my siblings and I see a cardinal, we remember our Mom. I had been thinking about death, and when this cardinal appeared, a sign that in the past I had taken as a reassurance, I felt blessed.
Comforted, I remembered that my original intention had been to listen to the music without mental chatter or daydreams. Stone was right, I thought, it was harder than you think to just listen to the music. I cleared my mind and focused on my ears. I listened and then listened some more. The sound was clear and seemed to be the only thing in my world for a brief time. It was very satisfying to just hear sound. Music. It was lovely. I felt aware of the sound in a new way. I hope you will try it and let me know what you experience.