Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where Would I Be Without A Song?

About a year ago I wrote a post about music.
I wrote how I was having a rough night and I retreated to my studio,
cranked up some music and through the power of a particular song -
the stress seemed to go away.

Today I will revisit that topic.

Lately - I am having a few more "rough" days than usual.
Now, please don't think that I am sitting at home,
having lost my will to go on.
It's nothing that dramatic.

In fact - quite frankly - I am doing quite well . . .
all things considered.
I have been making art like crazy.
I have had more orders than usual come in.
I have had successful art shows/festivals -
another one this weekend, in fact.
I am finding my groove in my new life as a single woman.
I am working through the "business" of divorce.
In fact - i can actually say the word now.
I smile more that I am sad.
I laugh more than I cry.

But some days . . .well -
the rough days creep in.

This last weekend I had a very successful art festival.
The weather was beautiful and the people were in abundance.
I saw old friends and met new ones.
It was a great weekend!
But it was also one of the hardest I have ever lived through -
I have been participating in this particular festival for the last four years -
and my husband was my partner each year.
We spent the whole weekend together as a team.
When I showed up with a girlfriend to set up my space, I was immediately asked where he was.
That set the pattern for the rest of the weekend.
They question "where is your husband?" was asked and I retold the story . . .
and answered questions, and received hugs and "I'm sorries".
The support was overwhelming.
But, although I felt all of the wonderful love and support -
each time the question was asked,
it was a bit like getting kicked in the stomach . . .over and over and over.

BUT . . .
I did well.
I stayed strong.
I kept a smile on my face.

Until Monday when I fell apart.
I was tired and it all caught up with me.
I cried. 
A lot.
You know the kind - gut wrenching, can't breathe, toxin cleansing crying. . .

A friend of mine sent me text to check in - how was I doing?
A rough day, I answered.
Her response was to have a cold diet pepsi and crank up some good music.
Obviously - she did not understand how upset I was.

Such simple advice for such a major meltdown.
I took the advice.
(I did; however, expand the advice to include a large bag of M&Ms - just for added insurance.)

I plugged my iPod into the dock in my studio and turned up the volume.
Way up.
The sound filled my studio room.
I was the only one home.
I pulled out the paints and the projects I was working on.
I was working on mindless base-coating - just laying in blocks of color.
The perfect task for singing.
I cleared my head and focused on the music.
I let the music play and I sang.
I sang loud.
I sang with feeling!
In between songs - I sipped my diet pepsi.

The music didn't change the fact that I was sad.
I am ok with feeling the sadness when it needs to be felt.
I need that to move forward.
But the music affected me on a soulful level.
As I sang - the tears cleared.
I felt a lift of pressure - I felt a bit of joy.

Through this process, many people have sent me songs to listen to.
Some of the songs talk about taking charge, surviving and using the bruises we gain in life to grow and excel.
The power of music cannot be understated.
A song can take me back to a particular place, a moment in time . . .
I can feel and smell and experience memories all over again when I listen to a song.
I have entire mood shifts based on the music I am listening to.
Music has been my companion through joy, sorrow, the birth of my children - I have used music to teach my children, to commemorate special events, to celebrate, to FEEL.
With music I feel the presence of God.

All I know - is that during this time of change -
music, art and a little diet pepsi seem to be the best medicine for this lady.


Giggles said...

I feel the exact same way about music, got me through really difficult times, it heals the soul!!

Beautiful art!

So sorry about those tough days! Wishing you moments of splendor!

Sending love and light
Big Hugs Giggles

An'Angelia Thompson said...

I definitely have the same relationship with music, Laurie. Every major event in my life has a song connection. It seems that during my roughest times, there was always a song to pull me through. Hugs.

Cheryl Mellema said...

There is nothing like a good cry, friends and music <3