I just realized today that without music, my life would have been very bleak. I came to that conclusion as I was taking baby Evie to her Mommy.
I have my own songs on my phone, and the little kids seem to like them. Eli always wants me to play them when we are out riding together. “I want to hear you sing Papa” he says. And he listens and is soothed, and often slips off to sleep.
I played some other music for Evie first, and she didn’t pay much attention. When I put one of my songs on and started singing, she perked up and started going “ahh..ahh…ahh..” in a cadence that could only have been singing. Six months old tomorrow, and singing. Recognizing my voice, and realizing that it is something more than just talking. Something magical. All my children and grandchildren are the same way. If this was a gift I had even a small part in giving them, then my life has been worthwhile.
My Dad played the radio and sang along for me when I was a baby. I could sing “Jambalaya” when I was three. “Your Cheating Heart” and “Crazy” I helped my Grandpa lead singing at Church when I was four. Music has often been my salve, my joy, my love and my rescue from insanity. My perfect retreat from the world, even as I was in the midst of chaos. It is a complex mathematical equation reduced to auditory simplicity that almost any human can understand and enjoy.
My voice is going now. Years of use, medical and health problems have reduced it to a very unreliable instrument. Yet I am not angry or bitter. I have music in my mind and in my psyche every waking moment, and besides I am one of the best whistlers you have ever heard.
I don’t know what I would have done without music. Without it’s ability to transcend time through past songs, I could never remember certain periods of my life. The music pricks my consciousness, and transports me back, and I remember. The pleasant, the painful, the loving and the tears. Every new song I hear over the years melds itself to the events and people who are present in that time. It’s a biographical, chronological and auditory history built into my brain.
I hope if the day comes when I cannot ask for things I might want, that whoever is taking care of my final times will crank up the oldies from the sixties on a music machine…or perhaps by then the little ones will be old enough to come and sing me a tune. I’d even take “The Hot Dog song” I actually probably be pleased to hear it.