Lately my life has been beset by small frustrations, unwelcome tasks, and a nagging malaise. My usual rosy outlook has darkened with the gloomy skies. Cynicism has planted negative thoughts in my mind. Content has become a stranger. Until . . .
I attended the symphony.
Music is a constant companion to my days. I turn on the radio first thing in the morning and I fall asleep to favourite recordings at night, but seldom to I really listen. I’ve too many things to do. So, taking three hours from my busyness to just listen is a rare treat. Not only that, but a night at the symphony afforded me the opportunity to hear a live performance.
Even the most wonderful recording of the most wonderful orchestra in the world cannot take the place of live music. To participate, as hearers, in the music-making, to watch the conductor as he coaxes his vision from the players, to breath with the instrumentalists as they bring the composer’s work to life – that is something to experience first hand.
On this night Elgar’s Enigma Variations was on the program, an old warhorse in the symphonic repertoire. I’ve heard it before, in recording and live, yet I fell under the spell of the music all over again. By turns playful, bombastic and tender, the first eight movements brought a smile to my face. Then, lush and romantic, the melting melody of the ninth variation (Nimrod). A tidal wave of sound, crashing over the audience, carrying us into the deep waters, beyond understanding into a realm of pure emotion. I float, as though on a great ocean, rocked in the billows. My heart expands to embrace the whole world. I breathe purity into my lungs. Cares and duties fade to nothing, there is only the music, achingly beautiful. At last the melody ebbs, brings me to the shore, and lays me gently on the warm sand. I am renewed, my soul refreshed, and my spirit peaceful within me.
I have “filled the well,” as Julia Cameron suggests.
As writers and humans, we all need to fill the well from time to time. As we head into the busy Christmas season, I urge you to be kind to yourself. Attend a concert and listen with your heart. Sit in a field of lavender and breath deeply. Ski through a snow covered forest and hear the silence.
Whatever brings you solace, seek it out, explore it with passion, embrace it with your whole being. Then, refreshed and filled, you are equipped to bring joy and exuberance and ardour to your normal days. You will be blessed and you will be a blessing to those about you.
How do you replenish the creative spring within? Please share in the comments section. You just might bring inspiration to another.