Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Orange Juice for the Ear"

Before I hit the sack on this first day of 2008 I want to give you a little Oliver Sacks as well as some Duke. I think between the blogging and the Thich Nhat Hanh I'm reading and the little ity bit of meditation/silence practice I'm trying out lately, I'm noticing more and experiencing dazzling synchronicities...wonderful to notice the peace and gratitude with which I'm beginning this new year.

That's my turbo intro to kinda, slightly skip past, but at the same time celebrate that I paid attention to the quote on my Starbucks coffee cup today (smile). It was from neurologist/writer Oliver Sacks, whose book, "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain" I gotta get (who's read it? what's the word?) I felt excited by his quote:

"Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears--it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more--it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them music is not a luxury, but a necessity." Access to movement...to life...I love that.

In "Music is My Mistress" Duke Ellington writes a sort of poem called "What is Music?" that the Sacks quote seems to echo...here are a few lines:

"Music can dictate moods/It can ennerve or subdue/Subjugate, exhaust, astound the heart...Music is like honor and pride/Free from defect, damage, or decay/Without music I may feel blind, atrophied, incomplete, inexistent."

And just to go out and wish you every joy, jazz and hallelujah possible this year, I share a more often quoted line from Duke's autobiography, from the chapter on the sacred concerts.

"...every time God's children have thrown away fear in pursuit of honesty--trying to communicate themselves, understood or not--miracles have happened."

Thank you Duke! Starting out here with this honestly communicated desire to see a center built in your name to gather folks around music that astounds our hearts, I wonder what miracles might pop up in 08...

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1 comment:

imanitolliver said...

I love your blog! So much light, so much insight into the ministry of musical language. Oh, what we find there ~ the message is ourselves and each other, yes? Oh, yes. As I was reading this selection, it brought to mind our beloved Audre Lorde and her writing on silence. We must speak, yes? Without worry of misunderstanding...we have to tell and tell. There is liberation in that. And in you. Thank you for sharing your light and being a perfect and divine reflection of God's grace and love. Be well, I.