It’s in every one of us.
Echoes of evidence that sing about and sign to something more, something beyond what our ears and eyes can hear and see, something beyond what our finite minds can comprehend. We are hymns in flesh, the very syncopated measures, the rise and fall of last breaths that transcend ink on parchment. We are music come to life through the strings on wood and the lips of brass and men.
And every morning we wake, and we roll to our sides and slouch out of bed, clutching in our hands projections of the world beaming through light on a screen, telling us that its noise and its clamor are holy. Telling us that its eighth notes and trills are better than we ourselves are. And we believe it, every time. We fall for it, living and waking for these projections. They are the song we can’t stop listening to—the god we can’t stop bowing to.
We stumble in the darkness—from the edge of the bed where we’ve left our dreams, rolled between blankets and sheets—dragging out tired feet, until we are standing before the mirror where we see ourselves. Disheveled reflections, we are, brushing our teeth, splashing cold water to the face, and, some of us, coloring the canvas, sweep rouge on brushes across the cheeks, painting some warmth, like blush beneath the skin.
We scurry to our cars, whipping them into grids and intersections where we’ll hear the sound of the streets, symphonies of taxis rushing by and buses slowing to screech their terrible halts. We hear the wind slip through the twisted arms of naked trees, howls that chill us to the bone, like children alone and at home on a dark, stormy night.
The office chatter—busy fingers tapping and dancing across a map of alphabet soup, punching out words that fold sentences into emails, unfolding meetings behind glass doors.
And we hear it, all day, each day—this is the soundtrack of our lives. Bustling footsteps, the clanking of pots and pans, the pitter-patter of schoolchildren, doors squeezed open and slammed shut. We’ve come to hearing and knowing the sounds so well that we hum the tunes, we blurt out the lines as they come.
We live as though our lives are the song, never fully hearing or seeing that we are the song. We are the audible sign, we are the sound.
We look to our instruments, the cartridge carrying liquid ink that flows through nib like water through dams. Our jagged steel, serrated thin to cut layers, to trim tiers of cakes and things. The motor heart that moves us miles across space, spinning and spilling out gas—revving, roaring its own song. We call these our notes on the page, the sheet music full with arpeggios and crescendos. But, these are not the sound or the song.
We are the sound and the song. It is us; it has been us all along.
We are the sound—the sonata, the requiem scribbled out of despair, the canon composed for comical cause, the waltz penned to walk us through love. We are the staves on those antique, fading sheets, all because someone felt, and heard, and saw beyond himself. Saw into the spiritual, into the world and realm that hangs, not from high and lofty places, but that hovers right in the here and now, right in front of our eyes.
Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and Smetana’s “Má Vlast” and Chopin’s “Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2” and Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” Even these heavenly whispers of euphonic melody—they are not the sound or the song.
The sound and the song and the symphonic breath are within us, are us. Shouting, exploding, bursting forth, like a child with holes in the hand clasped over his mouth, only to—inevitably, eventually—seep out that spectacular secret.
That we are the sound and the song, that best piece ever hummed, ever held, ever heard.
We couldn’t hold it in, even if we tried.
We will always come bursting forth, like hymns of old, untouched by the times, ever sounding, ever signing.
Then sings my soul.