Friday Night’s Alright for Writing (#4) Music as Religion

So sometimes when I run or wog (what I like to call intervals), I see or hear things that inspire me to think, which then inspires me to write.  Thankfully, I don’t run so fast that everything is a blur.  In fact, I run so slowly, I’m pretty sure there are some squirrels that can beat me in a race.  But, that was not my point…I digress.

Many people were off today due to Good Friday.  I was off because this is technically my “spring break” from teaching.  So as I ran I was grateful for the day off to run, and spend with my daughter later on, and I thought about how though I am grateful for all of the religious holidays, organized religion really doesn’t align with who I am. As much as I’ve tried to make myself fit into that box at times, it’s just not me and it makes me feel like a fraudulent human being when I try to make myself participate for any great length, which is not the thing I’m going for. Ever. I’m definitely the spiritual, but not religious girl.

While I love the cultural aspects and traditions of many religions, the organization of it all, the dogma is something I cannot stomach.  I understand that those elements bring some people comfort and direction and inspiration, but I am not one of those people. To each his own, right? So, there I was listening to my iTunes on shuffle as I always do when I go for my runs and then this song came on that reminded me that what many people find in religion, I and I suspect many others find in music.

…And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I’ve found that I belong here…

– “Home” Depeche Mode

I’ve talked before about how certain songs can bring you back to a place or time or person that is comforting and beautiful, which this song certainly does for me, but it also reminded me of an experience I had at the last Depeche Mode show I went to with my friend Kiana many moons ago. We were dancing and singing along with the rest of the crowd on the floor, but the guy in front of us was having what I would like to call “a moment.”  Some might say a “religious experience.”  There was screaming and shaking and the Depeche Mode-equivalent of testifying going on.  And he wasn’t the only one. After I noticed him (and I couldn’t not notice him, I’m pretty sure I ended up with a billion of his sweat beads on me from all the shaking), I looked around and could feel the energy in the room, the collective moments being had by all the people being truly moved by the music, not just moving to the music.  It was pretty amazing. And I’ve been to a lot of amazing shows, a lot of shows in general, but that one took the cake in terms of raising my energy to a new level and making me appreciate the power that music can have.

For me, comfort, inspiration, and oftentimes direction are found in lyric and melody. If I don’t hear music daily, I feel anxious and lost.  Singing along (or just on my own) feeds my soul. In short, I have found that music really is my religion.  Can I get a witness?

7 comments

  1. You’ve got a witness. I’m the same… my iPod died a few weeks ago and I was in mourning… until two days later when I bought a new one (and then cussed out iTunes for f’ing up my music library… again.. I hate iTunes… *sigh*)

    BTW, do you meditate? Ever listen to Moodswings? Wonder if you know the song “Spiritual High (State of Independence)” 🙂

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    • I do meditate actually – started recently. I don’t know that song, I’ll have to check it out. I usually do guided meditation unless I’m doing yoga (which, is technically also guided), and for that I’m totally obsessed with Sia Furler (though not for her work with David Guetta on Titanium…at least not during yoga!)

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      • I need to meditate more often… and i think music is quite important but also quite personal. I’ll listen to Vangelis and Enya predominantly, with some Brian Eno thrown in for good measure.

        I LOVE track 1-1 on his Music For Airports, plus Deep Blue Day and Ascent from Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. I really need to get more of his music.

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  2. My brain is still in the flitting around stage of meditation (did I say something about ADD?? Still. Can’t. Stop.Thinking.) – so I need the guided part at least for now. And yes, music is very personal in that regard…but glad I got a witness 🙂

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    • That happens to me too… I really need to meditate more frequently (like, daily) but I’m lucky if I get to do it every Saturday night. Having said that, there’s a deep-rooted sense of security I get when I meditate, so even when my mind drifts I still get something out of it.

      Do you have a place you visualise? Sometimes I see myself sitting in a pasture of long grass, underneath a tree. It’s night time and the stars are shining brightly in the skies above. There is a warm, gently breeze blowing and I can hear it swishing amongst the grass. In the distance there is a mountain range with a single, snow covered peak. I know there’s a lake nearby but I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I need to go explore LOL

      I don’t know how it all came to me… it just did, very early on, when I started meditating again a few months ago 🙂

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  3. Wow, that is VERY specific. Sounds lovely – you *should* go explore! I don’t visualize a place, it’s all I can do to keep focused on a mantra because my brain wanders off. That being said, when I’m done my body feels like it’s gotten sleep, even when it hasn’t, and I am calm and peaceful. I try to do it daily…but the last few days I’ve been sick and haven’t been able to make it through one session!

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