When I felt bad in the past I could always, ALWAYS find peace, solitude, love, affirmation — you name it, in music. Music filled in what was missing. It was my therapist when the world around me was swirling with change or surrounded by dark clouds. A simple melody would whisper in my ear that everything is going to be alright, just hang in there. You’re good. We (music) got you.
Lately I don’t hear those whispers in music and it frightens me.
As mentioned in my previous post I’ve taken a social media break. It has been good – no, it’s been great. Great for getting my head out of my phone and in touch with now, being present, spending time with my family. I read that when you stare at your phone while in a room full of friends/family, you’re telling them that the people on the phone are more important than they are. I never thought about that but I don’t want to send that message to my wife or kids. Studies show that some people actually become depressed when taking breaks from social media. They were more in touch with how they were actually feeling rather than ignoring / drowning out those thoughts with pictures, videos, likes, emojis and other distractions. Perhaps that is what I’m dealing with? Perhaps depression was always there but drowned out by sound?
I haven’t been as motivated to practice. That is highly unusual for me. Normally I would literally count the seconds till I could pick up my instrument and explore a sound, melody, technique or just try and create something. Lately I pick up my bass and while I go through the motions of practicing, the joy just plain isn’t there. Yes, that frightens me.
It frightens me because I’ve always considered music my 6th sense. Not because I am great at it but because it is as important to me as sight, hearing (obviously related), touch, taste, and smell. I love listening to music and I love playing it. It feels funny to be lost, know what’s missing and yet, can’t get back to it — even though it’s right there in front of you. Admittedly I have not been getting a lot of rest. Most days I am up by 4:30AM (or earlier) and usually begin my day just a few short hours afterwards. Perhaps I’m just tired? I hope so…
This past weekend brought a glimmer of hope. I had friends over and we played tunes. I originally wasn’t as charged up as I normally was. I only practiced to ensure I would be able to support them and make the music good. When we started playing, laughing and joking, I felt that joy for the first time in what feels like ages. It felt wonderful. I felt good. I don’t have that same joy now but I am hopeful it is a sign that it hasn’t left me. It’s still there. Perhaps it is being quiet so I can deal with something – something that might be keeping me from taking that next big musical step?
Right now however, I’m not thinking about big musical steps. I just want to hear and feel the music again like I used to.