My mother used to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (the first movement) for me when I was a young girl. I was about four or five years old. These are some of my earliest memories. She would get warmed up and I would get comfy on the couch. After a few curses under her breath and a couple of missed chords, some checking of the pedals, and she was ready to go. She played it beautifully, although she was always hyper critical of her work. I loved to watch her. Her eyes on the page, so intense. I could feel her through the song.
We had skylights in the piano room, and I would sit on the area of the couch being warmed by the sun coming through. Like a little cat, I gently closed my eyes, and felt the light and the notes surround me. As she played the notes I would cry. Tears would stream down my face. She would stop playing to ask me what was wrong. I would beg her to go on. I was so young. I couldn’t explain the feelings that were inside my soul from previous lifetimes of memories. There was nothing I could articulate or place, but those notes engulfed me.
The first connection I had to my soul was through music. Unfortunately, in this lifetime I was not given the gift to play, not intuitively. The tragic irony of loving something so much but being unable to create with it. I started to learn the piano when I was seven. Play might not be the appropriate word, as I spent most of the time ignoring my mother as she tried to teach me to read this new language. When her frustrations got the best of her, she decided this was a job for another and sent me for professional training. I took lessons until I was in the tenth grade. By that point I could read music and I could play well, but I would never play in front of anyone. I was a perfectionist by nature and unless I had a piece completely memorized with no flaws, I kept it to myself.
I dabbled with a few other instruments. Let’s give it up for the handy recorder! Thank you, third grade music teacher. My daughter is about to bring hers home in a few weeks and my joy is unbridled (read that with sarcasm if you can’t pick up what I’m putting down). I also played the clarinet from the time I was nine until the tenth grade. That ended abruptly when they tried to strong arm me into the marching band. Who puts an ultimatum on music? “You can’t play in our band unless you wear a silly suit and march around the football field.” Well fuck ya then, I’m out.
My relationship with music didn’t stop when I stopped playing instruments. Instead, it made it grow. I would listen to anything and everything I could get my hands on. My playlist was always confusing to people. I could go anywhere from classical piano, to rap, to oldies, and back to techno; mixed in with a little of everything in between. (Except country music, I’m not big on that, but I’ll make some exceptions). When I hear music, I have an immediate reaction to it. Either it speaks to me, and I turn it up, or I find is so repelling that I can’t stand it and need to turn it off.
I think I connect so much to sound because I’ve had such terrible eyesight my whole life. I started wearing glasses in the first grade and was legally blind before I hit sixth. They do say that the lack in one sense will heighten your others, so I chalk it up to that. There are certain songs that I can hear, and I’ll get completely emotionally overwhelmed. (Sometimes it’s at inappropriate times, like when a random kid is playing a trumpet solo on stage and I start to ugly cry in the audience — I’ve learned to rein it in, trust me). Anyway, it is the strangest feeling, because there doesn’t even need to be words involved and my body just reacts. It’s as if my subconscious can interpret everything the composer was feeling when they wrote the piece. It’s an amazing experience, and I think this is the first time I recognized it for what it is, a gift.
Now as I got older and more important worldly things came into play, I got distracted. A career, kids, marriage will do that to you. I still listened to music on the radio, but I didn’t investigate new songs or dive into old pieces like I used to do. I stopped singing along as much (because who wants to hear it really…it’s pretty bad) and my playlist got stunted somewhere around 2008. Every time I play my iPod (does anyone else still have an iPod? Just me?) it brought me back to my younger years. Those were the songs that made me happy. Those were the songs that got me through.
Yet here I was on a new journey, one that I didn’t realize I had embarked on years before but was only consciously waking up to now. My soul was craving something, and I was pushing it down. I was in robot mode; eat, sleep, work, check the boxes, repeat. I needed to create. I needed to write. And most of all, for inspiration, I needed my music! It was the only way to heal me.
During one of my Reiki classes I was messing around with a singing bowl and I fell in love. I wanted the whole set, but they run about $300+ for a good bowl, and the set is in the thousands. I had a dream one day that my husband surprised me with the bowls. I dropped this dream on him as a subliminal hint, and thankfully he picked up on it. On Christmas morning, I opened my first package and there it was, the best gift he had ever bought me.
Each crystal bowl is associated with a different note, and each ties in with a different energy chakra. Wouldn’t you know that my husband bought me the bowl tuned to the G note. This represents the throat chakra. He didn’t even realize that he was giving me the gift of my voice. Every time I play, my soul opens up. I want to speak my truths. I want to communicate my messages. I want to pour it out of me, where it’s been sitting inside, stagnant for so long. If you asked him what a chakra was, he’d probably answer it was something I cooked in our dinner the night before. Luckily for me, a higher power guided him to make that purchase and it was exactly what I needed.
Now that I’m diving back in, to myself and music, I want to explore like a child. It is the most freeing experience to give yourself up to creativity. As adults we don’t allow ourselves the time for this self-love. A few short months ago, I would have told you that I have no time for myself. But I did have time to obsessively watch the news on repeat, and I did have time to check social media and scroll until the bottom, and I did have time to watch shows that were murdering my brain instead of nurturing it. I had time. I just wasn’t using it for what I needed to. Now I know. Now I’m changing. I’m looking forward to purchasing some more bowls and I desperately need a hand drum.
Music can heal you. Let it flow in.