The music

I don’t know when I fell out of love with music. It must’ve happened gradually over a number of years, perhaps a full decade. One day I simply realized that music was no longer the very important part of my life it had been. During the teenage years, and I think for most of my twenties, music was a vital and natural part of my everyday life. But no more.

The realization wasn’t a happy one. Way back, I think I had the idea that I wouldn’t lose music just because I was becoming a grown-up, that I wouldn’t fossilize into one of them. So when I realized that things had changed – or even worse, that I had changed – it saddened me. A tangible sense of loss remains, and perhaps a hint of regret too. This is not what I wanted.

We humans only have a handful of things that make us more than automatons. Forget free will – being human is about our desire to play, our capacity to love, and our appreciation for art. Losing the art of music, then, is a big deal.

Music used to be a powerful tool for me, as I’m sure it is for many others. I could use it to strengthen or even change my state of mind, my mood. It helped me make sense of my emotions, focus them and give them a direction. It brought color to grey days. Gave a beautiful edge to the ugly. It used to be my companion.

Perhaps we didn’t fall out of love at all. Perhaps we simply grew apart. Perhaps I just forgot, too busy being an adult. Because when I do listen to music I love, and I have the stillness to take it in, it’s just as powerful an experience as it ever was. It’s a wild, raw force raining through me. I’ve sat here tonight, alone in the apartment with headphones on, and listened. The sounds fill my mind and body with joy, energy, melancholy, just like they used to. Good, cathartic emotions. And I feel kind of stupid for not having given music the time and space it requires. Because, I realize now, I need it.