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  • David Borman III

The Point of Music in Hardship

"(Music is) What feeling feels like over time.

An attempt to screw up what feeling feels like over time. Heartbreak and a high C.... The often welcome melodic lie.... The soul's undersong. The orchestration of randomness, a flirtation with the boundaries of silence and space.... a reminder that the self wants to disappear, be taken away from itself and returned." -Stephen Dunn, about music. 

It seems, all too often, I find myself facing growing pains. Pains from the growth of my mind, spirit, and heart. Pains caused from lessons learned and mistakes made. Most recently I found myself caught in the aftermath of a failed long-term relationship. My heart hurt as it grew past the old life and moved to a new normal. During the most painful moments of this transition I found myself at the piano. Sometimes I would play show tunes from Seussical with happy, upbeat themes and sometimes I would allow the painful words of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years" to wash over my ailed spirit. Both options forcing me to the same affect by the end of my time behind the keys.




Seussical's happiness and jollity gives me hope for tomorrow and the "thinks" yet to come. L5Y gave resonance to the emotions that I'm dealing with and put new names to a situation not so different than mine. And faith. Not in a God or spiritual being, but in myself. The faith that even though life has dealt yet another low-blow, I am able to overcome. I am able to rise. I am stronger than life's circumstances. How often have you experienced pain and growth? And when those moments happen what is your escape?

For me, music has always provided a new reality, not so far from the one we're living in. An escape into a similar universe where things make more sense and life isn't so strange and harsh. In music there seems to be some justice, some peace, and some closure; things not often found in the world we live in.

Find an escape today, and hang on to it. No matter what it is. Find something that makes some sense out of a seemingly non-sensical life and give yourself to it. Even if it's not as a career, find time to give yourself to it. 

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