Finding myself in the Middle East



Friday, November 18, 2011

Let The Music Heal Your Soul

I am sitting here instead of getting a move on--it's Friday, and the challa is not made yet--because at 8:10 in the morning, I am on my second coffee break. I was always a big coffee drinker, and even the word coffee can make me grow misty-eyed and start spouting bad poetry, but this is ridiculous.

Last night, deep into chicken soup and carrot muffin making, I thought, I'm tired. I need a pick-me-up. And I poured myself a cup of coffee (coffee...can't you hear it? It's pure poetry.) that must have brought my total for the day to around 6 cups. Not to mention the endless teas. And it hit me that what I'd normally be doing is cranking up the music.

I have not listened to music since my father died, and I am only now realizing its place in my life. I used music all the time. I used it like band-aids, when the kids were cranky. I'll turn on something with beat, and we would dance and soon everyone would be laughing. It was a cure-all.

I'd turn it up when I was low energy and still had a lot to do. Fast music, loud music, something I could sing to while dancing around my kitchen with my wooden spoon mike.

I'd listen to classical music by the kids' bedtime. It works like a charm. They calm down, snuggle. I would also listen to soft music when writing or doing something else creative. It stirred up all that creativity. It's wonderful.

We used to dance, my father and I and all of my siblings, to the most teeth-rattlingly loud music every motzai shabbas. We would dance for what felt like hours.

I've been replacing music with coffee, and it's a poor replacement.

Music. I sing all day(until my long-suffering kids crawl under the couch to get away from it) but it's not the same as music. Except sometimes. Like when my father died.

We sang to him for days, as he lay dying. We sang to him as his heart stopped, we sang as his soul left his body. We sang as he was finally free, as we lost him forever.

My mother told me that someone who works in the ward next to where my father died said they are still talking about us, about the family that sang to their father. She said that all the nurses and aids and even doctors would find excuses to wander into his room and stay for a while, listening to the music we made, the songs that we did not write but came from our hearts and souls. We did not notice them. We were singing.

It's hard, not listening to music. I remember an all-star single that I used to listen to in high school called "Let the music heal your soul." I guess I'm not supposed to let it heal yet. Even music that makes you cry is healing, and I guess all of the raw pain that I feel about my father is how I am supposed to feel. I am not allowed to soothe it yet.

It is so interesting, this year, learning to embrace feelings that we usually do anything to get away from. I feel like crying, and I drop everything and let the tears flow. I ride the wave. This is life, I guess, getting used to death.

But for now, I got me my little music. Coffee. Cofffeeeee. Caffiene and song all in one.

4 comments:

Proud Tante said...

I don't have any profound words, I wish I did. Your family sounds very special.

JerusalemStoned said...

Thank you.

chanalesings said...

Beautiful post. I went to sing once in a home in Flatbush and a woman told me a similar story, how her sisters sang to her mother as her neshama returned to its Maker, and it was so touching, I had the chills. One of the stories I won't forget. Nice to hear yours. I would love to send you some music if you are interested~! Only Simchos!

JerusalemStoned said...

Thanks Chanale--your music is beautiful. I still have months before I can listen to it, though. I'll take you up on your offer next year! :)

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