Category Archives: Severence Hall

What is it about music …

that has the ability to soothe the soul while it simultaneously sends it reeling in turmoil and heartache, joy and sadness; reminiscing and rebelling even as it brings us back, unto ourselves, full circle?

That is is the beauty of it, is it not, to touch the untouchable space in the soul and spark the imagination? To make us think beyond what we know so that we try to touch on that which we weren’t even aware we wanted to know?

Part of the mystery?  The enigma?  The fascination?

I listen to music for hours every day, various genres ranging from hard, head-banging rock, to soothing  yet heartbreaking cello, to piano concertos. There are soaring arias, operatic manifestations that vary widely from my beloved Bryn to local, struggling, yet resilient talent, all of which move me on one one level or another.

Move me to seek, to find, to think, to imagine, to embrace and learn what I’ve always wanted to know.  It, music, is a kind of courage that makes one feel worthy to not only want to know, but to feel that they have right to discover.

It is empowering, this music of which I speak and it belongs to all of us.

Listening to music and interpreting it is no different really, than developing the photographs I take and finding in each one something magnificent or a flaw that makes it unintelligible and useless on every level.

Music is the same.

There are pieces that I listen to daily because I cannot help myself.  I love them, the sound of them, the places they take my mind whether I want to go or not and that is part of its power.

The power to take one on a journey, maybe pleasurable, possibly painful, but a journey that will leave the listener feeling more than they felt before and less because now, they realize that they were, prior to this moment, incomplete.

It is a humbling experience, understanding music and feeling a connection.

Anyone can hear music, but only some can comprehend it understand it and seek it because the choice, once they have experienced it, is no longer their own.

They are a slave to the sound, the vibrations, the magic that music has to offer.

There are composers who enamor me more than others, some very well known, some known not at all.

It makes little difference, at the end of the day.

There are composers I love to hear and conductors I love to watch. Some, at their very core, are nothing less than brilliant.

There are songs that are sappy and sentimental that pull at me just as there are instrumentals that draw from the depths of my inner being and make me feel things that I had either forgotten or purposely hidden away.

I’m still not sure how I feel about those except they evoke emotions that I’m not fully prepared to embrace.

It is during these indecisive moments that I throw things at mirrors, shattering them and feeling perfectly fine about it.

Whether it soothes my spirit, fries my brain or breaks my heart, I need music; it is the language, fourth to words, shadow and light, of my blood.

I can’t play a note of it, but I have an innate understanding of it.

It moves me like the river flowing over the rocks that I so dearly love.

Without music, everything else in my life would go on as it always has, but all of the emotions would be diluted. That, to me, is a sobering thought.

ClevelandOH-34Severance Hall … Cleveland Orchestra … Mahler’s First.

tay_musicMy favorite trumpeter …

Lightning over Big MoccasinProof that nature is full of music and miraculous things…

powelvalley_windsofmtnempire-301The joy of simply knowing what music is about …

clarinethandsA clarinetists’ hands … music and beauty and awesomeness lives therein …

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If I’m not me …

then myself, as I know me to be, will cease to exist.

It has been a trying few days … ok, truth be known a trying couple of weeks, but the past few days have been egregiously difficult.

For those who know me personally, you are used to the barrage of chattering that has little to do with anything and everything to do with nothing.  It is part of what makes me who I am.

But sometimes, there is a hitch in the rhythm that brings everything to a complete and utter halt.

That recently happened.  I don’t intend to dwell on it for as far as I am concerned, it is in the past, it is buried and I am well on my way to greener pastures.

It was Erma Bombeck who so aptly said “the grass is always greener over the septic tank” … well, she wasn’t just whistling dixie.

It is funny how life throws curve balls at us and we have two choices … either dodge them or get hit.

I got hit this time, but it will, without doubt, make me more able and prepared to dodge in the future.

I don’t do “woe is me” very well.

I am an optimist.

A follower of Christ.

A positive thinker.

A Sagittarius.

A sometimes bordering-on-crazy person.

All of these things work in tandem to help me to see the big picture.

I don’t even pretend to be perfect, and if truth be told, walk with distressing regularity, the fine line between sanity and oblivion.

But I know myself and my moods and have, over time, learned to live with them.

All of them.

I say curse words when they are warranted, drink Corona when I feel like it and roll my eyes when there doesn’t seem to be any other option.

I don’t hold these things against myself and if others do, that, in my opinion, is their problem.

I have found myself in the past few days facing demons and obstacles that, if given the rest of my life, I would never have dreamed such happenings would come to be.

But life happens as it happens.  It is the same for all of us.

No part of the time we are given is perfect.

Well, that isn’t exactly true, as I can, with perfect clarity, recall a few perfect moments … but for the most part, we are all on a deal-with-it-as-it-comes basis and we either deal with it or end up institutionalized.

Since I am still a free woman, I suspect that I have, at least up until now, dealt with it.

I don’t discount the things that hurt me for they help me grow, but I do learn from them.

If one doesn’t learn from the things that set them back a bit, then they are wasting their time living.

Life is for living; not for reliving failures, hurt or humiliation.

Living.

Learning.

Thriving.

That is how I roll and it is how I will continue to roll.

Wishing everyone who reads this to look inside themselves and decide that life, whatever it may bring, is worth living and worth living well.

Until next time, be well, my friends, be well.

only one of hundreds of my favorite things about West Side Market in Cleveland, OH

only one of hundreds of my favorite things about West Side Market in Cleveland, OH

Carl Tanner performing at Toy F. Reid Center, courtesy of Symphony of the Mountains

Carl Tanner performing at Toy F. Reid Center, a concert made possible by Symphony of the Mountains

The Cleveland Orchestra performing Mahler's First at Severence Hall

The Cleveland Orchestra performing Mahler’s First at Severence Hall

My niece, Gracie, living life and having a grand time doing it.

My niece, Gracie, living life and having a grand time doing it.