Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Body Music

I feel music inside me. I want to record this music. I want you, the reader, to listen to the music that my body makes.  It is not that I want to hear the music, I already do. I want to have some way to share it. I want us to accept that the music we make as human beings brings order and chaos to the universe. I want you to listen, to listen to your own music.

For me to talk about music seems strange since I rarely listen to music. I do not own a stereo, iPod or any means to play music--apart from my computers, and I never listen to music on my computers. But I feel music all around me. More importantly for me, I hear music not just as an emotion, but as a formal structured language.  I know how music elicits emotion. This is different. This music that my body generates is formal, it is a language. Although I have a limited repertoire of musical scores that my body makes, I am now learning to appreciate it and listening for it. I have started late to listening to my body, my older age seems to help. I am learning to understand it.

In quiet moments I listen to my body. Not auditory, no waiting to hear sounds, but listening to how it functions. It takes some time for the body to start humming first. When I run--or, as is more likely the case recently--when I hike, it takes a good 15 minutes before it stops creaking and complaining and gets on with its function. And then it hums. Everything is in harmony. The body starts humming and then slowly at first and with much crescendo later, there is a modulation, a pattern that emerges. I am listening not feeling. The pattern is musical. The closest I can get to in reality is a Vivaldi concerto. Not as complex but the same residual structure.

Sometimes I do nothing. I feel my body resisting. My maturity is knowing when I am just lazy (it does happen) and when my body just needs a break.  I can hear my body humming.

Recently I can feel my body slowing down. This might seem to anyone as a negative, but for the first time it allowed me to distinguish this music. In the past, my body music was on all the time, at full blast. Now I have moments of slow tempo from which I can distinguish the emerging crescendo. I did not hear the difference before. Now that my body is slowing I can hear the modulations, the changing pitch and the emerging patterns. I know what it likes. When I hike and when I drive, socializing or eating, my body tells me how off center I am.  Socializing creates the most dissonance, and I like socializing. What I have found unexpected is that my body hums while eating. When I make a nice meal I can hear the slow adagio. I have come to appreciate some foods my body likes and some foods I like. But I am still resisting diet change.

It does not feel good anymore to eat red meat, or meat in general. I love the taste of meat, but my body does not like it anymore. It feels good when I eat grain and legumes. I sometimes wonder what will happen if I completely listen to my body. How will I function?

I read a story about centenarians and it reminded me of what my body wants to do. People in these six areas of the world, where there are large concentrations of people over 100 years old, take time to slow down and distinguish their time with periods of inactivity. Sometimes they wake up late in the morning, they are irreverent with time and cannot be held to a schedule. That is what my body wants. It wants to move at its own pace. It has all these notes and it wants to rearrange them in time, its own time not my scheduled time. Whenever I change that course that my body wants to take, I can feel the unrelenting stress and dissonance in my music . My body can do much more, but when it is not ready it creates unnerving harmony. I know all this because sometimes I get it just right. And then I feel like I am a well practiced orchestra.  I have began to trust my body more and more. I know I can push it, but I prefer to let it tell me what it can do and when.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and so true. I love this idea of our body playing music. I will stop and listen.