The Day The Music Died

Psalm 139:14

14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well

Having certain health issues are like being maimed by a thousand tiny cuts, but then again, teeny tiny bandages can be at work and you can be restored! Out of the blue. I recently experienced this, and it was astonishing.

I never had the gift of carrying a tune, but music is dear to my emotional heart. Maybe it’s my Latino blood,  but I can lose myself in music so thoroughly that it can be the driving force that can easily steer my mind and my day.

Tone deafness guarantees I won’t be singing at the top of my lungs unless I was surely alone, I have even resorted to mouthing the words of “Happy Birthday” in a crowd because I sing so poorly! Ha!

I have often incorporated music as a secondary theme in fiction, because music is a heartfelt and tangible source, it’s as if our lives are a violin and music is the bow that draws across the strings of our world. This past year I noticed my entire catalog of sounds was stolen. The song bank of my brain, you know, where you go to retrieve sounds, to sing a song? Well, the vault was opened and entirely emptied out.

It is a frightening moment, that moment of reckoning. When you start to say, “What is happening to my brain? Is this how it will be from now on?” but if anything is sure when dealing with the brain (or things ‘brainy-ack’ as I refer to it) it is be flexible, very flexible.

I could still enjoy music, but within seconds of hearing a song I could not recall which one it was, not a single word of it, nor pick up the thread of it at all. I would really concentrate and struggle to reach for it, but the information was always out of my grasp. I came up empty. There were no more humming tunes to myself, or revolving inside a praise and worship song in an endless loop to stay seated at God’s feet. It was very frustrating, like there was a hole in the bucket of my musical mind and all the notes just leaked out.

I’d hear a great song at church and couldn’t remember it even seconds later in order to find it later online. I’d try to remember a song I heard long ago and my mind couldn’t even understand where in my brain to go to retrieve it, the link was broken.

Unfortunately, the empty music bucket hole allowed generalized fears to fill the space. It only worried me when a musical retrieval was necessary, but then I wondered why? And I went beyond the usual reasoning over to new health problems.

I was at an informal evening concert last fall and the woman I was sitting with loves to sing, and admonished me to sing too! “Get the hymnal! Look up the words!” she hissed, when I told her I didn’t know the words. As I stared at the hymnal I realized it went beyond that, I couldn’t follow songs at all, and it seemed like some were childhood ditties that folks were born knowing. I was clueless.

I have to honestly say, it never even occurred to me to bring it to the Lord, and ask for restoration. Sad but true.

But for the same unknown reason that all the musical notes disappeared, that bank of sounds was restored! And the amount of fear and mourning I experienced was replaced with an equal amount of joy and gratitude.

The lock on the vault of sounds was reopened and I can savor songs like I used to be able to. Apparently the song bank was there all along and connections that were temporarily broken were repaired!

My brooding nature became difficult to deal with apart from the loss of the ability to enjoy music; all the waiting for the other shoe to drop, “Gee, what will be the next thing to disappear?” Having the sounds restored taught me to refuse to live like that. While I’m waiting for the next sneaky symptom, and obsessing on it, I could get hit by a bus or choke on a link sausage at dinner.

In sorting my way through the precarious curves of neuro-living, I need to live in each moment without the bondage of worry.  I’ve got to remember to bring it to our Father in heaven. Lay it down at his feet and move through my day reaffirming: with God all things are possible.

Dear Father God,

I’m so sorry that I didn’t come to you with my lost musical memories. I am trying to understand why that wasn’t a reflexive action, to bring it to you first. I know that you will show me, and I wait with anticipation for that revelation.

The healing that did take place brought me such joy and I thank you for returning that gift. Restoring something I took for granted-never realizing it could go missing, filling that empty black hole with the beauty of music is a huge wondrous reward; I’ll never take for granted again.

Our bodies are wonderfully and fearfully made, and you are the designer. Help me to stand aside and let you work in me, Father.


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