“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

— Berthold Auerbach

Yesterday was a day of many musical opportunities.  A visit from my brother brought a classical buff into my house, and we sat for an hour at the computer finding favorite videos to share back and forth.  I introduced him to the concept of the flash mob — where people go into the midst of a crowd and begin to perform, first one or two and then greater numbers as more and more performers join in.  They are great fun to watch, and I always try to imagine what it would be like if I were an innocent bystander who suddenly found myself surrounded by musical joy.  For some reason I always find myself choking up when I watch these performances.  I think it must be the way that the music spreads like a virus through the crowd and seems to infect everyone it touches with its passion. We watched everything from Sound of Music and West Side Story to dance performances and unexpected opera, and the music swept clean the dusty corners of our day and lifted our spirits above the noise and clutter that inhabits our minds.

At the same time, a large street rod show is taking place in our community park.  Even if 50’s music is not your passion, it would be hard to exist in town this weekend and not find yourself walking with a sort of dancing gait as the P.A. system sends out an amplified version of whatever performer has taken the stage at the moment.  I was going to say that music just makes people happy — and sometimes that is true.  What I’d rather say is that music puts us in touch with the emotion, the passion, that lives beneath our exteriors and touches our hearts.  It can make us dance and laugh and sing along.  It can stir the understanding of the composer’s grief and sadness that finds its way to us in the melancholy notes of a sighing violin.  It has stirred men’s courage as they march into battle.  It has soothed and comforted a sleepy infant as a lullaby sends her off to the land of dreams.

Whatever your musical passion might be, it dusts away the cobwebs that obscure your deepest feelings and brings them to the surface where you can hold them and touch them and sing their song.  May your day be filled with the music of your soul, and may your soul hear the music that is all around you.  Don’t forget to dance!