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Listening for LIfe

By , Pflugervile, TX
There is only one thing in this world that a human being needs to sustain life. More So than water to quench our thirst, more so than a home to protect us from whatever may lie out in the wilderness, more so than food to stifle our hunger, even more so than oxygen to fill up our lungs. It isn’t tangible to those who limit touch to the physical realm alone. It isn’t visible to those who see only the blatantly obvious. And for many it isn’t even heard, because over the years they’ve learned how to tune it out completely. Some will argue that this basic necessity is love, but what is love if not evoked and carried along by something even more? To the very few people who feel more and see more and hear more than the others; the only thing essential to living is music. Music has the ability on its own to quench our thirst, comfort us more than any four walls and a roof ever could, stifle our hunger, literally fill our lungs with every rise and fall, trill and silence. To be physically “alive” is not even a small fraction of living. To breathe oxygen alone supports no more life than dirt does. It is no opinion that music is more than just music, but the one thing that is always constant in this world; it is a fact.
I personally do not know of life without music. I was lucky enough to be born with it coursing through my veins. Even at times when I was unaware, music was always in me. My wonderful taste in music, if I do say so myself, is somewhat of a generational thing. As far as I can recall, my grandpa had it, then my uncle who passed away when I was one year old, and now, me. The fact that I never really even knew my Uncle Steven, pains me greatly. I learned to walk in the hospital before he passed away, and, although it’s hard to miss someone you never knew, I do miss him. The one thing that connects me to him is my love of music that he had as well. My brother is always told how much he is like him, but it helps for me to know that I’m quite like him too in that respect. Even so, it is no coincidence that that my parents put me in ballet when I was three, or that I kept choosing dance over all the other activities I tried, or that I’m still dancing and the thought alone of not dancing can literally bring me to tears. Dance and music are linked for quite obvious reasons that anyone could see, but only those who have experienced it can see the way that they depend on each other. How dance is not a separate from music, but merely an extension of it. When all the words that can possibly be said are put into a song, and there is no longer any way to express it; you dance. I suppose I’ve subconsciously had this knowledge ever since I started dancing. However, somewhere along the way, I lost this deep connection to music. Perhaps not completely lost it, but temporarily forgot it was there.
Growing up does things to you. Along with all the physical change, we lose a lot of our basic understanding of the world that all children seem to be born with. Somewhere along the way it gets lost in translation, and very few adults ever get it back. What all children have is the ability to see all the beauty in absolutely everything. The ability to marvel at things that may seem small. Children, babies even, can look at a person and not see a person. They have this strange way of seeing none of the bad, but everything that makes someone beautiful. So naturally, when we lose that perspective, we start judging not only others, but also ourselves. I fell prey to this judgmental state of mind just as everyone else. At the normal time too, the threshold of adolescence. I began wanting nothing more than to be like everyone else. Something that took a huge blow, alongside my confidence, was my natural inclination towards music. Conformity, as it seems to do with the entire world, took a hold of me. I started listening to a large amount of mainstream music. If I haven’t made my hatred for mainstream clear enough, let me be the first to say, the concept of mainstream is one of the worst things to ever happen to this world, especially in regards to music. So, needless to say, the fact that I started listening to it on my own was a sure sign of me succumbing to what I thought was what everyone wanted of me. Little did I know, I was slowly losing the wonderful gift that I cherish so much now, to feel things much deeper than most people do.
“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”





~Aang (The Legend of Korra)
I didn’t realize how fitting a quote from an anime cartoon was for my situation until much after the fact, but around the age of fourteen, I finally hit my lowest point. I suppose this low point was composed of the start of high school, one of the most influential people in my life moving away, being pulled in ten different directions by all the people I cared most about, amongst other things. No matter what it was, I fell into a terrible, angst-ridden melancholy. Nothing seemed to be going right, I lost my sense of direction, I was tired of being something I was not. I desperately needed something consistence that I could have at all times regardless of how I felt. Low and behold, in the midst of my personal black hole, music found me. When I was finally ready for me to be me again, music found me. I was eventually led to the wonderful underground world of Indie music and I was finally able to get away from the awful mainstream that did nothing for me.
No, I never found any better sense of direction, still lost as ever, but I found a way to be ok, even happy with not knowing where my life is going. Because no matter where I’m going, I’m going with music in every breath and every silence.





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