Thursday, February 9, 2012

It Is a Beautiful Thing to be Affected

In this world of constant contact and the ability to reach out and touch more people in more distant places than ever before, it seems we somehow keep becoming more and more isolated.  We share every thought, every action, every stupid thing that passes through our minds on facebook or twitter or whatever and yet, real human to human contact has become more and more rare.  We're closed off in our little bubbles, jaded and untouchable.  It's almost like we pride ourselves on not giving a shit about anything.  But closing off the part of ourselves that connects to other people is like cutting of an essential piece of our humanity.

What's wrong with being affected?  What's wrong with feeling something and letting someone else make you feel something?  Our ability to empathize and share emotional experiences is what makes us exceptional.  And therein lies the magic of music.  In my opinion, no other art form has the ability to tap into our deepest, squishiest parts like music (or, at least, not mine).  And the exact effect it has on us depends on the song we choose and what we need it to do. 

Sure, it enters through your ears (or possibly right straight through your skin if you're at a live show), but it flows throughout your entire body.  It fills your head with sound, flooding out all other thoughts if necessary.  It trickles down into your heart, with the power to make it race or slow it down.  Music lets you swallow that lump in your throat and gently loosens the knot in your stomach or, if that's what you came for, it can bring forth that lump and let you have a good cry.  It can calm some restless legs or make you jump up and dance (or wiggle about with glee...not exactly the same thing).  And on its journey it has the ability to tickle every little part in between.

And when all that happens to you, when you let it happen, it is a celebration of humanity.  They say music soothes the savage beast and it's true, it can soothe that savage beast that exists within all of us.  Or it can set the savage beast on a rampage of emotion.  While I put a lot of stock in keeping your shit together and not barfing every emotion you have all over everyone, I can't understand why anyone would want to completely shut down that vulnerable, impressionable part of themselves.  To take the music in and let it change you, become part of you, do things to you that no amount of drugs or therapy will ever do, is a truly beautiful thing.

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