When Music Sounds, Gone Is the Earth I know

Without a job the days tend to blend together.  I no longer feel a tinge of sadness that another Monday has rolled around or the excitement of the work-a-day world that it’s finally Friday again.  But, for some strange reason, I definitely struggled through Monday this week.  Was it because hubby had to go back to work after a lovely four day weekend together?  I feel so much more freedom when he is home because it is the only time I really get out of the house these days.  I don’t know, but I definitely had acute symptoms of Monday-itis.  

Oh, before I forget, I should take a step back for a second.  Remember that post a couple of weeks ago about me riding my bicycle and all that bravado of determination to stick it to MS and just ride anyway?  Yep, that one. Well…that sent my MS rolling on the floor in screams of laughter and hilarity. It could hardly catch it’s breath long enough to snidely retort, “That’s a good one, Amy!” 🤣 😂

I have gotten on my bike four or five times since but I’ve come to the conclusion that a seven minute ride just isn’t worth five hours of drooling on the couch in utter debility.

So now, back to the story of Monday.  I got up early to ride my bike and, to be fair, got along better than usual.  I rode for 17 minutes and only had to rest for 45 minutes before being able to take a shower and brush my teeth.  The fatigue settled in heavily thereafter, though, and was thick and heavy for the rest of the day. I was bored and my mind was clear enough that I wanted to be doing something.  On three separate occasions, I tried to come up with something to write about. Nothing but a blank screen stared back at me. Honestly, after the first minute or two of nothingness, the screen wasn’t strictly blank, it looked a lot more like Spider Solitaire.  I decided I was wasting too many brain cells doing such a mindless activity and was determined to do something productive. I emptied the dishwasher and swapped wasting brain cells for wasting energy I did not have. I then decided to work a little on a sewing project I had begun a few weeks ago.  Who knew sewing took so much energy?? URG! 

I tried reading.  I love to read and take great delight in doing so nearly every day.  Why didn’t I feel like reading? Hey, Monday, cut me some slack! I tried watching TV but I couldn’t find anything that interested me.  I finished a puzzle I had started the day before but it only took about 15 minutes. I tried to watch the birds but apparently they all colluded with Monday and went to someone else’s feeders.

Having exhausted all the usual pursuits that keep me busy when I find myself forced to sit all day, a sudden stroke of genius popped into my mind.  Music! I will listen to some music!! 

I have a fairly eclectic taste in music.  My music library is a hodge-podge of various decades of rock, punk, swing, big band, blues, jazz, folk, bluegrass, Christian…pretty much anything that isn’t country or rap.  I’ve been listening a lot to rock, blues, and Christian the last few months but these did not fit the bill on Monday.  

If I was ever sick during the school week while growing up, my parents would drop me off at my Grandma Lois’ house and she would take care of me until they were done with work.  Grandma always had her radio tuned to KTXR 101.3, which was known back then as “The Gentle Giant”. They played a kooky mix of soft rock and various kinds of instrumental music. We never listened to KTXR at our house or in the car but I loved listening to it at Grandma’s house.  Like all kids who grew up in the 70s and early 80s, I watched my fair share of The Lawrence Welk Show. Although I wasn’t ever really interested in listening to any of the lounge act singers, I was a huge fan of the orchestra, especially when they played by themselves. Somehow these two weirdly-paired entities of my childhood faintly illuminated the beginnings of a serious passion for a genre of music I wouldn’t have much exposure to until college.  During 1989, while attending university, I discovered the local National Public Radio station in town. They played classical music several hours during the day back then and I suddenly felt like I had discovered the songs of angels. No other genre of music has ever come close to the joy and delight I have found through classical music.  

I guess like all things in life, you go through phases of binging on one thing to the exclusion of all others until something brings you back to the center of some old passion and you relive the fundamental elements that drew you to it in the beginning.  

And so around 1:15 in the afternoon all the “-itis” of my Monday disappeared.  My heart soared upward, untethered from my languid body, until I no longer knew if I was part of this world or had joined the mirthful realm of the next.  I cried listening to Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude and Etude Op. 25 – No. 1 because of their limpid, beautiful timbres. Brahms’ waltzes, especially my favorite, No 15 in A Major, Op. 39, felt like liquid love washing away all the dullness of the day. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Massenet, Debussy, Vivaldi, Schumann, Elgar, Ravel…one after the other until I was too blissed out to care that I was under the thumb of MS that day.

Music, when applied to just the right heart at just the right time, is the strongest balm one can apply to weary souls. 

Music
When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all of her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Life burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.

When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.

When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
And from Time's woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.
~ Waltar De La Mare

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