11 March 2008

Music & Experience

When a singer truly feels and experiences what the music is all about,
the words will automatically ring true.
~ Monserrat Caballé

....every time there are losses there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper.

~ Henri Nouwen

There are days when I wish I had not experienced the pain and suffering that gives birth to some of my music and makes it “ring true.” Especially when I am still in the midst of feeling the pain, acknowledging the hurt and dealing with the betrayal. Being a person of intense emotions only magnifies all of these wretched steps. And then...I have a weekend where silence and solitude place their gentle hands on my broken heart, draw out the poison and leave me free to think and work through the pain. At the end, I am able to put down on staff paper where I am in the healing journey.

Such was this past weekend. I had Sunday off (it being a men’s schola weekend) and took the opportunity to spend the entire weekend out in the country. In addition to my physical illness, I have been struggling with the recent betrayal of someone very dear to me. I had been feeling a little like Eleanor Dashwood: experiencing all the pains of love without any of the benefits! What is a broken-hearted musician to do? Compose music about it of course! Not that all the music I write and sing is personally experiential ~ I recently composed a song for Beth and Sullivan ~ but my personal experiences are always fodder for the Muse ~ the more intense, the better.

Sometimes when I write, I don’t know what I want to say, or where the music will take me. In this case, it was through the act of composing the lyrics that I realized that I was mourning the death of a friendship that perhaps never really existed, which in some ways is sadder and more painful than the betrayal itself.
Letting go of an illusion is much more difficult then letting go of reality - one is tempted to believe that one cannot mourn or release a dream or an illusion ~ it seems so....silly. But the pain is certainly real as is the loss and thereby is worthy of grief.
So I mourn what could have been and what may have been and embrace the lessons that pain is teaching me this go 'round. And hopefully the recovery will be quicker than the last experience. For now, at least the music has improved. ;-)
Oremus pro invicem,
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