The Music of Life

Photo by Chris Galford.

This time of year always gets me to thinking. On life. On death. On family and friends. Toss in a little bit of “purpose” in there to boot, and we have a veritable medley of late nights ahead. This year’s kicked it into overdrive, though—far from home, far from what I know, first book out there, struggling to make sense of it all. But tomorrow, I head home. Amidst snow and ice and the sodden flight of the night, I head back to Michigan for the holidays.

And the mind cranes toward the whimsical.

There is a certain music to life. It is in the air. In a lover’s eyes. Reverberating in our own delicate touches upon the world. Even when you inevitably ask the bleary-eyed teenage neighbors to turn down the racket, and the bass fades into nothing, the music of existence still resounds. Sometimes it’s just a whisper. But sometimes, it is a veritable symphony.

The real wonder, I find, is trying to puzzle out the notes. We can identify the chords as they come, but putting them all together can be more of a puzzle than a tune—for while there might seem some pattern in a series of certain moments, it is gone in the next. This might frustrate some. In fact, I know it does. Yet I can’t help but find it beautiful. Wondrous, even.

Close your eyes. Breathe it in. Senseless wonder—is that you?

Soulful artist Grace Kelly. Photo by Chris Galford.

So often we try to attach purpose to everything we do. In fact, I dare say it’s a human imperative. We are so distraught if we cannot master “the tune,” drumming up a performance to put all our ancestors to shame. Yet I must say there is a certain freedom in realizing it doesn’t all have to make sense. We don’t always need a purpose—that is merely a construction, to add some unidentifiable quality of “worth” to life.

You know what is truly priceless? A sunset. Drink that vision in. Crisp mountain air. Feel it on your skin. The smile of that like-minded soul just across the room. Let the sensation pool inside you, and stir that heart to motion.

Now try to do it without calling me a hippy. Thank you.

Life does not always need to have purpose. It is a chaotic tune, often enough—a jazz-like echo through which each and every one of us grind along. Sometimes, all life is—truly—is the simplest of moments, where we can stop and breathe and hear it all stirring around us.

I think if we could find more moments to just…stop, we would all be a little saner for it. But then, maybe that’s the writer in me talking. And I don’t think anyone would ever accuse him of being the sanest man in any room.

(P.S. Almost forgot to let you all know—this week and this week only, e-book versions of The Hollow March are on holiday sale if you purchase through Smashwords. At just 99 cents, it’s perfect for a virtual stocking stuffer for that fantasy lover in your life—because nothing says Merry Christmas like the ring of steel and magic.

See that? Now you know what I meant when I said the writer in me’s not the sanest lad in the room!)

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2 thoughts on “The Music of Life

  1. “Let the sensation pool inside you, and stir that heart to motion” That’s the foundation of writing and that’s what makes it so powerful.

    Have a great Christmas in Michigan. That’s where I’m from. Looks like it might be slightly white this year.

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