A shadow…the dark crescendo of regret—a scarlet ribbon wrapped around your eyes. No sight, only crimson. Running now…strings quietly scream the hearts of their masters…the melancholy mist of melody wraps its arms around you in a suffocating embrace. A run from the brass sends you twirling to your knees. Refrain…
…sweat or perhaps a tear drips from your chin. A burst from the oboe ruffles your hair—a touch, a taste, a feeling…something new. A whisper…a thrill—“Dance with me…” Hands join kindred like hearts as you’re lifted from despair. A revival of souls—can you hear it? Peace…
A melody brims with sentiment. I sometimes sit, paralyzed, my heart either being split in two or swelling to unimaginable extents by a mosaic of instruments, synchronized to earthly perfection. What is it in music that creates such ecstasy in our beings?
I believe that music is one of the most lucid examples of raw and vulnerable human emotion. Melodies touch our hearts with such fragility because in some sense, we’ve already experienced them. Whenever we create a memory, whenever we feel love, anger, passion, elation, anguish, happiness, vexation, or numerous other incisive feelings, we are creating the shadow of a melody in our own memory.
When a string of notes plays at our ears, it’s almost as if a magnet is being pressed to our hearts, bringing past experiences or future hopes to the surface. Whether sweet or sorrowful, bold or timid, simple or complex, each of these has a purpose—for one without the others wouldn’t be so explicitly significant and potent.
If we lived in ignorance of pain, the true beauty in life would never be revealed. Would we ever feel blessed? Would we ever be humbled by a sacrificial hand? Would we truly cherish anything? Wouldn’t faith dwindle and die if we didn’t remember the anguish and brutally horrific crucifixion that Jesus undertook to give human life hope and a future?
If the lowest trenches of our lives were forever erased from our memory, how could we know when we’re sitting in the clouds? If we couldn’t remember life before Christ, would we cease to recognize our Father beckoning us with outstretched hands as He caresses our hearts with His compassionate gaze?
To dance with tear stained cheeks and a throbbing heart is painful, but in the constant and graceful arms of my Father, I will let the music carry me—whispering in my ear the melancholy reminisce of what once was, the savory essence of what now is, the thrill and fear of what is to come, and the gentle but firm reassurance that my God will always be holding my hand and dancing me through the beautiful chaos.