"Our First Language Is Music"
That's what my son told me several months back. I was shocked; I had never dared think that way. Yet it is true for both of us - the first way we think to express our feelings is in music. This is partly natural affinity and partly because - at various times in our lives - music has been the safest way to think about our emotions and let them out. That's how music has made its way into my novels. It's my natural way to express myself.
I thought about this tonight because of an experience I just had. Lately I've been really depressed over a nasty financial bump in a life that's been filled with bumps. I wanted to crawl into my hole and work very quietly and very hard at home. But I had been invited to take part in an interfaith choir singing the Faure Requiem. I have done it with the St. Joseph's folks before, and their choir director is very exciting to work with. - In fact, their choir director and mine form a marvelous pair for any singer. My director was on the piano tonight, helping his friend.
Psychologists tell us that getting out among people and doing something when you're feeling down is always a good practice. Tonight's rehearsal brought me back into a world where I feel I'm valued and can make a contribution, no matter what. And the Faure Requiem is a wonderful piece to sing right now.
You see, I am extremely angry about the government shutdown and the political woes of retired folk like myself on both the state and federal levels. The "Libera Me" section of Faure's work is just the right medicine! Anger and retribution are right there, and I can sing my feelings right out. The magic of shared music flowed through me, and I felt strong enough to bear up.
That's why you find Mussorgsky's Field Marshall Death taking his place in science fiction.