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Music . . . . . the air I breathe . . . .the remix September 20, 2014

Posted by Judy in Musings.
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Six years ago, I started this blog with a post about music. Given the important role that music plays in my life, the lack of music-related posts would seem incongruous. In reality, it’s not. Music is constantly around me, running through me, inspiring me, challenging me. It’s like air. We all breathe it and do so without thought. It would be odd to be constantly talking about something that is second nature to us. Constantly blogging about music would be equally as odd for me given that music is completely interwoven into the fabric of my being.

Music was a constant in our home growing up. We listened to classical music during breakfast, and I marveled at my dad’s ability to identify so many of the pieces. We always sang at family worship time. There was always music playing in the car, complete with my dad conducting his imaginary orchestra. Music was everywhere. In middle school I played in band. When I went off to boarding school, being involved in band and choir was a given. I also discovered that I was able to do my math homework more efficiently when I was listening to music. College saw me pursuing a degree in music, which came as a surprise to no-one. My love affair with music continued into grad school and upon completeion, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment knowing that I was making a living teaching music. How lucky I felt to get to be surrounded by music every. single day. and to get paid to do it! The coming of parenthood caused me to greatly reduce the amount of time I spent getting paid to do music. But music was still within. I found myself marveling my children with my ability to identify classical pieces. We sang at family worship time. I would wave my arms and conduct my imaginary orchestra and I’d amaze and stupefy my little humans when I’d pretend to be on a musical theater stage. I discovered that one of my children is like me in her inherent love of music, exhibited by her constant singing and humming. Music was and always had been everywhere. Music gave me breath.

Lately, I haven’t been breathing. This statement is worsened by the fact that I didn’t even realize it until the breath suddenly, and forcefully rushed back into my lungs. Radiation has been the worst part of this entire process. Having to lay still for inordinate amounts of time. Having to do it every single day. Having my days turned upside down for 6 1/2 weeks. Being utterly exhausted. Feeling completely overwhelmed. Having lots of time (while having to lay still for inordinate amounts of time) to contemplate what has become my life, wishing that it wasn’t so, second guessing my decisions, and feeling deeply saddened by the changes. Every day was a struggle. The path grew more and more narrow, making it harder for supporters to hold my hand, which in turn left me feeling exposed and abandoned, moving forward only because it was required of me. The end of the radiation road couldn’t come fast enough and there was much rejoicing on Tuesday when that end was reached. The subsequent three days were spent slowly trying to regain my balance, find my purpose, reclaim my life.

As you can imagine, these are not things that can be found or regained overnight. I fully expect it to take several months, but this task will be much easier, now that I’m breathing again. My breath was given back to me in an unexpected manner today by a group of young men from Malawi, who sang with such purity. By one of my former students who sang with as much passion and conviction as she did when she was in high school. By the choir rehearsal that uplifted me, in spite of not being able to use my voice much. By my toddler, who mimicked the interpretive dance and sat enthralled by all of the music. By the praise team at church, who brought it song after song after song.

Today, I started breathing again.

Today, I was reminded that music is the air I breathe.


1. Marian - September 21, 2014

I love you and music fills my soul too!

2. rlape85 - September 21, 2014

You have such a beautiful voice! Love you. Yes, music is around us.

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