Listen, Listen


Listen, Listen

This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.—Thich Nhat Hahn

Long ago and far away, I practiced sacred sound.  I led meditations using sound and chant.  I taught classes and workshops on vibrational metaphysics.  I used sound in hands-on healing.  I studied with respected sound researchers and practitioners.  Sound, toning, singing, chant, and music were a big part of my life.

When I got sick, that all went away.  Whether the ECT fried a connection, or the medications changed my brain chemistry, or some other shift occurred, the knowledge was still there, and a few of the memories, but the skills and spiritual connection disappeared.  Now I look back on that life (what I can remember of it) like Scooby Do—”Rrr?”  There’s no sadness or sense of loss, just wonder.  Was that really me?  Huh.

One thread from that old life travelled with me during the worst of my illness.  Music.  Some days all I could do was lie on my bed and listen to music.  But, my tastes changed.  I turned away from the chakra-balancing, chi-enhancing CDs in my little library.  I craved rock and roll.

It was as if my Music Brain tried to reboot and called up an old operating system.  I wanted James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, the musicians I listened to when I was in junior high school.  I wanted Three Dog Night and Neil Diamond.   But most of all, I wanted The Eagles.

I never paid much attention to the band as a teenager, but all of a sudden, their music soothed me like no other.  Don Henley’s gravelly poetry and Glenn Frey’s wavering tenor gave me a foundation to rest upon.  I felt stretched out like a lake on the boys’ close harmonies.  I played Hell Freezes Over and Long Road Out of Eden over and over and over…

Music is a powerful healing tool.  I’ve seen it perform miracles.  But, I never understood what a lifeline it can be.  Those dark days, lying on my bed, I could feel the rope music threw me.  It kept me attached to the earth, to life.  It included me when I felt isolated.  It gave me the extra link to take a breath and stay.

Like Don and Glenn sing:

Say goodbye to all your pain and sorrow • Say goodbye to all those lonely nights • Say goodbye to all your blue tomorrows • Now you’re standing in the light • I know sometimes you feel so helpless • Sometimes you feel like you can’t win • Sometimes you feel so isolated • You’ll never have to feel that way again ••• You are not alone.

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