Sometimes I like to put on headphones without actually listening to any music. This is a trick that I learned recently. I’m wearing headphones now in fact. The studio grade kind that have all of the cushiness that covers the whole ear.
A few minutes ago, I had Florence and the Machine cranked up, but now she has stopped her beautiful somber songs. And all I hear is “thump thump. thump thump. thump thump.” The steady beat of my heart.
I was sitting on the front porch of my parents’ house one summer day a couple of years ago as my dad sat next to me on the top step talking. I am one of those people that holds to the idea of “Do NOT discuss religion. Do NOT discuss politics.” But, considering my background, religion is one of those things that I find being discussed quite frequently. The noises about it whipping around my ears like a cold winter wind.
I had tuned my dad out and was focusing on how the shadows of the leaves were splayed across the front walkway with pools of sun surrounding them. More of the same religious ideas or “truths” that they’d tried to spoon feed me when I was a child. The same ideas they tried to force feed me by the time I was a youth. Suddenly I heard him say, “Music. Music is your religion, huh?”
Looking at him sideways, almost hesitant to say it… “I don’t need religion. It’s more like my spirituality. I can’t live without it.”
Thump thump. Thump thump. I’ll turn the music up again shortly, but for right now, I’m content to listen to the music of my heart.