Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let's Talk About Music


I have a scene in my memoir - well, in my life I guess - where Felicity was trying to teach me the power of music. It's a funny remembrance tucked into a terrible moment when I was terrified and trying to fall asleep the night I was diagnosed with cancer.

I could never make it long in a vehicle before I was absolutely certain that I would die if I could not get out of the car and pee. Immediately. I was known for this. I'm still not great at it actually. One day we were only minutes away from home and I had to go so badly I was crying. Felicity was just sure that if we sang together I would forget about needing to pee. I told her that was ridiculous. But she wore me down, and she was right. As I harmonized with her, I stopped crying and forgot the pain. So, the night that I couldn't sleep because I was so scared of my cancer, I sang. And fifty miles away, Felic was singing herself to sleep as well.

You may have heard the tragic news about Jennifer Hudson and her family. It terrifies and angers me that crime like this exists in our world. A world in which I raise three sons. I've gotten better at facing this terror, and I have a certain kind of peace anyway when I think of such things. But still, it troubles me. And this morning, I went to Andrea C.'s blog. And I was so settled by her music there. I have the tab open still so that I can hear it as I work.

Many, many days after work when I have to move from the paycheck job to the rewarding-in-and-of-itself (wink, wink) job, i.e., cleaning the kitchen and fixing supper - I open my lap top and turn on my little iTunes library of songs that mean something to me. And after only a few notes, well, it's like the "Name that Tune" of soul settling. I love music, and I'm so glad Felic taught me to love it.

I had a theme song for each of my sons when they were babies. They got more sophisticated with age. John's was to the tune of John-Jacob-Jingleheimer . . whatever, only I sang his own name and changed the words to suit us. Drew's was "Hey Jude", only - again - the name change and other lyric adjustments. Jake's was Faith Hill's "Lucky One". You're mine / That's all I need to know / The sun shines / everywhere we go / It's all right / Cuz' I got you to hold every night / I'm the lucky one."

But now I've settled on a theme song for having sons in general. It captures the feeling so perfectly. It's from the animated film Spirit. And when the young stallion is born, Bryan Adams sings, Here I am / This is me / I come into the world so wild and free. The music, Adams' voice, and the lyrics all work together in such a way that it could not more perfectly capture the thrill of birthing a son.

I have more of course - like the love songs that seem to have been written just for Michael and I. The songs about faith that center me every single time no matter how uncentered I was feeling. The songs about heaven that make dying less sad. The songs about "someday" that thrill me. Music fixes me. If you need settled today, try Andrea's blog for a few minutes. Or go to You Tube or iTunes and look for the songs that matter to you. For me, it works every time.

8 comments:

Cheri' said...

I remember a very difficult day when we were all gathered in a hospital room saying goodbye to precious baby Ellery, and you and Charity lifted your voices in song. I remember being amazed that you both started singing in that moment.

Now I understand more clearly how you were helping Felicity and Dan (and the rest of us) move beyond their pain. It's even more meaningful now, knowing that it was Felicity who taught you this truth! And it did "settle me".

Sarah said...

Last night in my Monday Bible class, we were discussing the power of the book of Psalms. The discussion centered around how this powerful book was meant to be sung not read, how it can be translated into any language and it is still poetic in nature. The Psalms of David actually formed a national identity in the people of Israel and led them into their "Golden Age." It was a wonderful dialogue and reminded me of the wonderful gift God has given us in music. It is transforming.
Love ya Ren!

Felicity said...

Our Uncle Rees says he thinks music might be the only language we need in Heaven. Can you imagine? We'll be just like the orchestra from Peter and the Wolf - each person their own unique instrument and sound!

Andrea said...

Reni-
Thank you, I find such peace listening to certain songs. When Mother was dying, we girls sent her off with the Doxology-the words most aptly fit the moment.......
Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost..............AMEN!
Don't you just love Him?

Valerie said...

Have you ever heard the song "The Perfect Fan" by NSync? My girlfriend, a mom of boys, is a wedding photographer and that song was a mother/son dance song. She had never heard it but it brought her and many other moms to tears. It is the only "boy band" song on my computer!

serenity said...

Valerie, I am going to look up that song IMMEDIATELY. I love finding new songs to make me cry!

serenity said...

Mom, I just found that song online. Get yourself to it immediately. It's for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tyvtujngBo

Anonymous said...

I am so late reading this post, but I totally thought I was the only one who had a "soundtrack" to my life. For this little girl inside me I cannot help, but listen to "As" and "All I Do" by Stevie Wonder. One of, which is a love song, but can only describe how in love I am with this little girl. I even have "Kirksville" songs. :)

Dominique