Unchained

Ever wish you could go boldly through life without hesitation or doubt?  To just go for it and be in the moment? 

While I sometimes feel this way, it is that state of being I strive for. When I do experience this freedom, it is almost always related to music. Music occupies the areas of the brain where thought and self doubt lurk.

One day, while driving with my window down, a beloved song that I grew up with came on the radio. A euphoric sense of freedom washed over me. I was taken back to another time and place. To when the warm summer breeze sang through the evening of my high school graduation. I felt the same limitless possibility I did standing on the football field, watching my cap float to the ground with the others, in a sea of shared hope, music playing as we cheered.

I remember the first time I skied with a walkman…the original personal portable music device. It was magical, as I hit play started down the mountain. My mind was focused only on the moment as I reacted without hesitating, trusting myself. I am not going to pretend it made me a great skier, but I do know it brought out the best in me.

It is not only upbeat music that inspires me. I find sad songs to be equally empowering.  They can take me back to a time of loss or pain and are a reminder of what it took to get through that pain. I am encouraged by listening to another’s struggle as well, primarily because music is a common source of strength we drew from. Yes, even sad songs improve my mood. “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things” – Tom Waits. 

I feel the exhilaration of familiar music in the memories they preserve, as well as the ones they continue to create. In the experiences mentioned above, as well as many others, music awakened feelings that stayed with me all that day, and are here to this day. They have been built into my psyche by experience and so are never more than a thought away. Whether or not they are being carried by sound waves, they play in my mind.  

As a channel, music connects me to other times, other places, other people, and other mindsets, keeping them ever present. It is connected to all phases of my life and is a reminder that there is a purpose to everything this world presents. With the right instruments, they are opportunities to grow, and forces to draw from.

Music gives me a sense of confidence and self. Learning from others’ experiences has given me insight to my own. Knowing I share these feelings with others is a comfort. Music directs me, and helps me find my way. It reminds that everything is alright.