After finishing an easy five miles listening to music on the dreadmill, I ran upstairs to ask my family a question.
Me: “Is music the most powerful art?”
Daughter: “Duh, Mom. Music speaks to everyone. Nothing else has that much power.”
Husband: “Honey, I’ve always said you’ll have to put me in the ground if I ever stop singing. Music takes you back, takes you forward, and everywhere in between. It crosses generational and cultural lines.”
Me: “What about books?’
Husband: “Books are powerful, too. They allow you to fill in the blanks with your own experiences. Movies aren’t that generous, they fill everything in for you.”
Daughter: “Books are way more powerful than movies, but still not as powerful as music.”
Me: “What about paintings? What about food?”
Daughter and Husband: “Nope.”
Husband: “Food doesn’t count as an art. We need it to survive.”
Daughter: “And not everyone appreciates a beautiful painting. Paintings are not accessible to the masses. iTunes doesn’t exist for paintings or food.”
I tried to think of something strong. Something powerful with the ability to produce tears.
Me: “What about horse racing?”
Husband: “Horse racing is a sport, not an art.”
Me: “But that song “Run for the Roses” gets me every time they play it before the Kentucky Derby! All those sweet baby horses running through the fields with their mamas.”
Husband: “It’s not the horses, it’s Fogelberg’s song that moves you. Images of baby horses are nice, but without the song, you wouldn’t feel the same.”
They are right. Without music nothing would feel the same. Music is powerful. Think of the lone bugler quietly belting Taps. Or a drum line marching in a college band. The Star Wars theme song or Silent Night at Christmas. Last week, my parents shared recordings of songs by their church choir. A flood of tears gushed down my face as I listened and felt God.
And then Maverick shared his music yesterday.
Maverick: “Honey, you need to listen to this band. The lyrics are amazing.”
Me: “That’s okay. I’m busy right now. Can you turn that down a little?”
Maverick: “But this band! Listen for a minute.”
Me: “Who are they?”
Me: “Fun? That band is a little over the top, don’t ya think? Maybe you can go to a Fun concert with my brother, John. He’s taking me to see Mumford and Sons next week.”
Maverick: “Sit in this chair and listen. Just for a minute.”
Me: “Fine. Just for a minute.”
Maverick pressed play and I sat in the chair heaving and purging emotions that obviously needed to be purged.
Maverick: “Does this remind you of us? Don’t you love the lyrics?”
Me: Nodding……..could not speak. Needed more tissues.
We have had a busy year of changes with more to come in the following year. Maverick and I have been together for twenty years. Our kids are leaving the nest. Believe me, that part of life is a struggle. For kids and for parents. Maverick and I also have big decisions to make about the next phase, God willing, of our lives together. Stay in the Air Force or retire? Live where? Do what? We’ve narrowed down our options and feel good about them. Whatever we do, we will always reach for God and for one another, and of course, the power of music. (And tissues when I listen to the following song Maverick played for me.)
LYRICS – by Fun, “The Gambler”
we’ve got time left to be lazy
All the kids have bloomed from babies into flowers in our eyes.
We’ve got 50 good years left to spend out in the garden
I don’t care to beg your pardon,
We should live until we die.
We were barely 18 when we’d crossed collective hearts.
It was cold, but it got warm when you’d barely crossed my eye.
and then you turned, put out your hand,
and you asked me to dance.
I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight.
I swear when I grow up, I won’t just buy you a rose.
I will buy the flower shop, and you will never be lonely.
Even if the sun stops waking up over the fields
I will not leave, I will not leave ’til it’s our time.
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side.
It was the winter of ’86, and all the fields had frozen over.
So we moved to Arizona to save our only son
and now he’s turning to a man, although he thinks just like his mother,
he believes we’re all just lovers he sees hope in everyone.
And even though she moved away,
we always get calls from our daughter.
She has eyes just like her father’s
they are blue when skies are grey.
And just like him, she never stops,
Never takes the day for granted,
works for everything that’s handed to her,
Never once complains.
You think that I nearly lost you
When the doctors tried to take you away.
But like the night you took my hand beside the fire
30 years ago to this day
You swore you’d be here ’til we decide that it’s our time
Well it’s not time, you’ve never quit in all your life.
So just take my hand, you know that I’ll never leave your side.
You’re the love of my life, you know that I’ll never leave your side.
You come home from work and you kiss me on the eye
You curse the dogs and say that I should never feed them what is ours
So we move out to the garden, look at everything we’ve grown
and the kids are coming home
I’ll set the table
You can make the fire.