acoustic guitar playing

In my week of self-nurturing and post-mortem relationship analysis, I figured out I’d strayed from my genuine self in the last year. One observation that surfaced right away was that I hadn’t bought or been lost in music for over a year.

Like a drowning woman seeking air above the waves, over the last week, I sought music, musicians, stories about musicians, people who like to talk about music and the emotional and ethereal feelings associated with notes, voices and lyrics. My music deficit hit home one night while I was staring at the list of unwatched shows on the DVR. I half-heartedly clicked on The Voice. I watched the first blind audition of season 10. My heart felt instantly fuller. I adore the positive camaraderie of the coaches and their encouragement of the contestants on their team. I could relate to their comments about the music and performances. Yes, The Voice is one of those formulaic popular shows aimed at the masses that some people are too esoteric to watch, but I love the formula. It works. There’s hope, humanity, personal development and MUSIC! Since watching the first four episodes of season 10, I’ve purchased 17 songs and listened to hundreds more — everyone from Bread to Bob Mould (bread mold?;).

I find myself in the lyrics and melodies. The songs stir up memories, feelings, daydreams, hope and ideas. They simultaneously take me back and move me forward. The perfect inspiration for reflection and evolution.

Spiritual home

I went to church for the first time in over a year. I have eclectic taste in music and religion. I take bits and pieces from different structured religions and make them my own. I found a congregation that fits my spiritual needs fairly well. Last Sunday morning, the music director played two Prince songs on the piano. As he sang and plucked the keys to “Purple Rain”, he could barely contain his energy. His foot tapped excitedly and his body swayed on the bench. He was feeling it. So was I. Which reminds me of Marianne Williamson’s quote about musicians being like priests, getting the whole room on the same heartbeat.

During the service, a speaker read Mary Oliver’s poem, The Journey (one of my all-time favorites) and later quoted Oliver Sacks On the MoveOliver Sacks (neurologist, writer, studier and lover of music). I had just finished Sacks’ autobiography, On the Move, the night before and hadn’t had anyone to discuss it with. I was bursting to share the gems of wisdom found within it. I later told the speaker of my appreciation for her taste in authors and poems. I chatted easily and vibrantly with the sweet people who welcomed me there. I met nurses, social workers, music directors, special ed. teachers and retirees. Their inclusiveness felt warm and peaceful. Their positive outlooks breathed life into my spirit. I felt at home in that sanctuary.

Others who relate

Talking with my dad for an hour later that Sunday afternoon, further exposed my dearth of music and music related conversation over the last year. My dad has been a great music appreciator and supporter for decades. He now lives outside of Nashville and is in his version of heaven. Not only do he and I have a mutual fondness for finding and sharing music, but we have a fondness for talking about our fondness for music. It’s just so pleasing to have someone who understands your excitement and enthusiasm for a certain tune (or book or place or food or subject or…). My dad always has a new song or artist he wants me to hear. We both intertwine songs and albums with our personal histories. Much of my musical history and taste is a reflection of his.

When a new coaching client mentioned one of his greatest joys — talking with other musicians — I knew there was something to this music connection thing.

Music is such an incredible unifier. For introverts, there is such pleasure in experiencing something as magical as music that originates in the outer world but rests, resonates, energizes and inspires within our inner worlds.

Often, music talk is a covert plea to connect. It’s an outstretched heart begging for relatedness. You get these lyrics like I do, don’t you? You are moved by that first stellar note too, aren’t you? 

Vulnerability connects

There is a vulnerability in creating and offering your gift to the world. Artists experience this vulnerability by Oliver Sacks music quoteholding their work up for scrutiny and judgment, their tender thoughts and visions open to wounding or reverence. This vulnerable work moves its audience to share in the vulnerability by telling others how the music (creation) affects them. Telling others how you were moved equals a freedom to be wholly open and engaged.

Not sure why my man and I did not engage in expansive music talk. He likes music. Our taste is different but there is some overlap and he likes the stories behind the musicians. I think I just didn’t feel an easy openness about the discussion —the relatedness, enthusiasm and vulnerability were missing. I don’t think he gets into the nuances as much as I do. If he does, he didn’t express that to me. I value the artist, the emotions behind the lyrics and the feeling of the music. He did the same, but perhaps we were drawn to different emotions.

A thank you

I can’t go without acknowledging all of the love and support I felt and received from you the space2live tribe. You are my people, my kindred spirits. You knew just how to lift me up and make me feel heard. Much love and gratitude for your kindness,  Brenda

What’s something you can talk to people about for hours? Who are the people whose presence and conversation lift you up? Why do you think they give you such joy?

If you’d like help finding a tribe you can relate to, contact me for personal coaching. I know how to guide you toward people who make your life better and brighter. 

*One caveat, I must mention in regards to my love of musical connections, there has to be at least a moderate overlap of music taste. A huge disparity in musical preferences can kill the relatedness and mutual enjoyment of playing and sharing songs.


**I can relate to this song 🙂 — “Having a Record Year” by Eric Church