I was looking through a notebook trying to find a song I wrote a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon something else (quite a bit older), written in a very weird state. I had driven cross country, from Boston to San Diego with Kristine helping her move. We had been dating for a while and it was time for her to switch coasts. I welcomed the adventure and was happy to be of service to her in the move. Once we got her settled I spent a month bouncing around California visiting Josie in L.A., getting my dove tattoo started, back to San Diego for a bit, back to L.A. to get the tattoo finished and ended up in San Francisco visiting an old friend and my cousins Tara and Priya.
I spent a day walking around the city by myself just getting to know the place. It had been a whirlwind adventure of a trip so far and I was a bit beat up emotionally, physically, and also really fucking hungry. I hadn’t eaten all day. I walked back to my cousins neighborhood and bought two slices of meat lovers pizza. They didn’t last long. I then headed back to Priya’s apartment where her roommate was hanging out. We went to some biker bar, sat outside, had a beer, then went home.
I remember remarking that I was tired or not feeling well, then laying down for a second. When I woke up and looked at my watch 12 hours had past. I stood up, said ‘something doesn’t feel right’, stumbled to the couch and passed out again. When I woke up this time another twelve hours had passed. I was really confused; felt horrible and disoriented. I walked to the bathroom and threw up (very rare for me). I then walked back into the room I had been in, fell on the mattress that had been laid out on the floor for me and passed out. I woke up 12 hours later. 36 hours passed in all before I really came to. When I opened my eyes my head was on fire.
I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the following; what I just found in my notebook. Some of these thoughts were new, foreign to me at the time. I know not from where they came. I’ve tried to type it as it was written.
At the times that books and math and friends and schooling and thoughts in general have been constraining or hurtful or just plain unsatisfying I have found much solace in music.
I have seen it as a means to understand, cope, express and relate many things that got lost between the words that I speak and the thoughts in my head. Or even between the thoughts in my head and the emotions, the feelings in my body.
At times music seems to rise out of the depths of me. It comes from somewhere I have never seen or heard of or in any factual sense even know to be absolute. But I have no doubt it exists, for I feel its presence. I am its presence. In many ways it is all that is me. All that manifests in my words and my actions and so much more that I yearn to be in touch with and share with others. Something that rings in the silence of the slowest deepest kiss, that screams in the blind frustrated rage of a fist thrown in desperation. Something intrinsic, something universal and divine. Something I know that I must find.
And so I look to music. Somehow basic and instinctual, yet capable of so much complexity and diversity. A universal bond. Something capable of stirring emotions and sparking desire. So often a way to remember. When there was a pervasive quality to a trip or a night or an event so often is is most commonly recalled by the music that decorated is peaks, that permeated even its silence.
Where does this music come from. Even assuming this deep unifying intangible factor in all of us, we can’t assume that it is music itself that ___ us life.
We are sentient beings. Highly evolved products of billions of years simple, basic, thoughtless needs. Driven surely by instinct as much as any thought or desire. But at some point we developed these ideas, these words. At some point we became aware of our instincts, our needs. We began to formulate and postulate. We began to predict and to plan and to consciously attempt to understand what we need. And to understand our interpreted means to those ends as our wants, our desires. Something fueled by a need, but never a need in and of itself.
At the time of, or simply as a product of this consciousness we developed, we somehow began to create language. A tool. An amazingly powerful tool used to express, to relate, all of these thoughts and desires, discoveries and pains, not only to others, but also to ourselves.
What is all to often forgotten is how much we think using language. We dream using language, and obviously we talk with language. But it seems obvious to me that our minds encompass so much more than that which language is. There must be so much more that language does not yet allow us to express, or even to think about. Pure powerful emotions that seem to encompass so much more than simply fear or hate or desire or even love.
What happens to any very basic and necessary product of sentient life that is a part of us, as conscious beings, but which we can not consciously relate to through language. I project that these things are most prevalent in music. I think that music has helped us to fill the gaps that language has created as we made the jump from pure sentient instinct into consciously formulaic thought. I suggest that in many ways music is our most direct conscious manifestation of our most basic and important bodily functions. The rhythm so inherent in the beating of our heart, something which both regulates and reacts to all that we are, is quite possibly the most vital ingredient in the music that rises from us.
Perhaps when we smell a flower or feel the wind or see a sunset or taste sweet fruit or touch another it causes so much to happen within us that language could never express it all. Maybe the truly simple “natural” creatures can revel in the joy of nature without all of our human inventions and constructions due to the true sentience of their beings. Maybe this attempt to express and relate through language is so much of what makes us feel all of the spaces in our consciousness. And maybe music rose out of a need to fill these spaces.
Maybe music is in many ways our most direct connection to so much of our most neglected, but obviously important inner truths.