I have been thinking a lot about music lately. It is a thread that connects the present to the past, a thread that travels from and between culture to culture, a thread that ties us all together, pulling us into community. What human doesn't love some form of music, now, today, ever?
When I was a child, I went to church each Sunday. I enjoyed the sense of community, of extended family, of a web of support, but didn't really connect to the stories of the Bible- it didn't really speak my language. But you know what did speak to me (other than those great sermons by Pastor Fred)? The music. The choir, the piano, the violins, drums, the voices. They brought tears to eyes nearly every week. My favorite part of church was always when we all held hands, closed our eyes and sang a sweet slow alleluia together. Even as a child (especially as a child?), I could feel the energy passing through our hands and the music.
Yes, music has been a part of my everyday life since the day I was born. Isn't that true for everyone in some way?
A few years ago, I was facing one of those moments in life when you question everything, when you climb out of the card board box, as Gretta Vosper says it, and I felt as if everything I knew to be true was shattering. I was scared and confused. I began walking up to the mountain near our house every day that I could. One day, at a particular near crazy moment, I was singing quietly to myself as I walked up to Mount Tabor. As I sang this song that had been a favorite of mine since high school- Closer to Fine, by the Indigo Girls- a song that I have sung thousands of times, whose lyrics I know by heart, all of a sudden the words took on a whole new and expanded meaning for me.
"I went to the Doctor, I went to the mountains, I looked to the children, and I drank from the fountains...there is more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line...and the less I seek my source, the closer I am to fine."
Well, in that moment, singing that song- it was me, it was my story. I realized how many people all over the world, felt that same way, listening to that same song and feeling like, yeah, that's me.
For I had gone to the Doctor, a few of them actually.
I went to the mountains almost every day seeking answers and solitude.
I watched my daughter and her friends playing, and I looked for answers in their joy and fearlessness, their way of being completely present.
I have drank from fountains and more.
And of course, as one must, in order to move on, I realized that what I was looking for was within me, is within each of us.
I soon saw that there is always more than one answer to the questions you ask. How can there be one answer, when in each moment there are infinite possibilities?
Lines are rarely straight.
And finally I understood the words: "the less I seek my source..." as I began to belt out the song, unconcerned what people passing by thought of me. Sometimes, when you spend so much energy seeking and you are begging for answers, when you are desperate for some connection to something outside yourself, desperate for a relationship with some higher power, the answers will not come and you will be left feeling in want. You will be left feeling very alone. Sometimes, the less you seek and the more you pause, the closer you are to fine.