Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Musical Memory

When I was much younger
And the world was not yet so heavy
on my shoulders
I learned that I loved music.

I learned that it was
a living, breathing thing
on its own
And that I was always better
for having experienced it.

Somewhere along the way
the radio wasn't enough
to satisfy my cravings
to apease my appetite for melody.

So I followed its call
to learn an instrument
A clarinet
My own means of
instant musical gratification.

I joined the ranks of that elite club
those individuals who could
glance at dots on the lined page
And make sense of them
Translate it to something beautiful
or comical or loud and frightening
or soft and haunting.

This new language I spoke fluently
I reveled in it
But as time passed
I became busy with other things of life
heartaches and joys
And I stopped reading the dots on the lined page
until the language was halted.  Broken.  Foreign.  Lost.

This year I turned 30
and looked back over
What my life has been so far
And where I want it to go
From here.

I missed that knowledge
that I used to have
that brought me such happiness
and swelled up inside my soul
like a flower blooming
until it can't bloom out any more.

So I take myself to task again
with posters of piano chords
and fingering charts
and sheets of that lost language
of dots on the lined page.

For, my soul is in need of feeling
of emotion
of passion
of depth
of life and breath.

Not content to relearn only what I once knew
Now I need more
the thirst is never quenched
note by note
chord by chord
song by song


Like a breaking storm or
a wave of the sea
Quiet at first but then
crashing and deafening

This is who I am
What I want in my life
What I love
What I need
Like Oxygen or Energy.

Now I am older
And the world has been heavy
on my shoulders
But music changes it somehow
Lightens the load
Eases the sorrows
Heightens the joys

It breathes new life
into my humanity
And I am always better
for having experienced it.


  1. That is really lovely. You took us on a fab journey with that poem. I vaguely remember the language of dots but would have to re-learn if I wanted to play anything again. We used to have recorder / treble lessons at school. :)

  2. Thank you, Jayne! I can read treble clef, but have never been able to master bass clef. Til now. I still can't make much of it, but I'm working hard. Maybe when I can actually read and play something I'll post a video. :) Don't hold your breath, though. It's likely to be a while before I can do anything like that. lol

  3. that was beautiful!
    my friend used to play the flute and recently took it up again and now plays in her church orchestra and does functions (bridal showers, etc) you're never too old to go for it again, even just for you =)
    i get my musical nourishment at church (we sing a capella)

  4. The mysterious language of music. I'm proud to admit that I too played clarinet along side Jenny. What memories, sheesh. Music is one of the many things I am glad I have learned in my life, but I just dont see myself ever having the time, or from time to time, even the desire to learn to read sheet music again.