A little bit of control

I’m not lazy, I swear I’m not. I just really appreciate what my brother says about music.

Music is so hard to capture. I suppose that’s part of its beauty and appeal. But it can be frustrating for me at times.

Let me explain.

When I get bored in a class, I often find myself writing down whatever is floating through my head. Sometimes it’s a saying I’ve heard recently. Sometimes it’s a memory. Sometimes (if it’s this one particular class and this one particular professor, and everybody else in that class knows exactly who I’m talking about) it’s a series of slightly snarky remarks about the class time that day.

More often than not, though, I’m writing down song lyrics. I like doing this, because I find that music, and particularly words set to music, communicates something beyond mere words that prose alone can’t carry.

But music also frustrates me at times. You see, there is no way to make music tangible. You hear a rhythm and a melody, and it captures your imagination. But what do you do with it?

I hear some of you going, ‘just sing the song! Duh, Noah!’ That makes sense. Except it doesn’t work when you’re sitting in the back of a classroom. There is simply no way to translate the sound, the effect, the feeling of music onto a sheet of paper. You try writing down the sensation of listening to the Hallelujah Chorus. It’s impossible.

… Music is good. Music is fun. Music provides a unique language. Have you ever been in a situation where you just couldn’t find the right words to describe something that you were feeling, but something about the way a certain song blended words and music communicated your feeling perfectly?

I’ve been in situations where I’ve felt like something is just too big for words. That’s where music comes in. Music bridges the gap between our mind and our spirit.

I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately, music of my own choosing. Not like when you’re road tripping and you listen to whoever’s phone is plugged in. Playlists that I’ve created for a certain mood or a certain time. I’ve slowly been discovering the magic that comes when I listen to MY own music. Sure, I like the music that everybody else plays, but choosing specific songs because of my mood lets me feel in control of at least some small things.

Some days, that’s all you need.

Last night I had my study music came on and I was skipping past a few songs that I’d heard already and I ran across some Enya and for the first time in my life, I was actually feeling like listening to some Enya. Yesterday was really stressful. The good kind of stressful, that comes from a balance of good things and bad things, and a strong deficit of sleep. And somehow in those moments, Twenty|One|Pilots is always the right answer. Always. I think there’s something about their music that doesn’t force me to be cheerful and happy, like a lot of pump-up music, but doesn’t let me wallow in the crap, either. It’s very realistic.

Music and writing both bridge the gap between my mind and my spirit. Sometimes, it just gets clogged up in our heads and takes us a while to get it out there.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor


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