Sometimes Even Music Cannot Substitute for Tears

Hard times?
I’m used to them
The speeding planet burns
I’m used to that
My life’s so common it disappears
And sometimes even music
Cannot substitute for tears

Paul Simon’s breathtaking poetry has been echoing around my head this morning. Do you always have music in your head or is it just me? Last week I did the BBC’s ‘How Musical are You?’ quiz, designed by researchers from some university or other. It told me I was more musical than 99% of people. Whatever that means.

I went to music school, briefly, when I was 18. I only lasted a term because of a recurring illness, but I loved it. I felt like I was in the presence of so much burning talent. Part of my journey now, as an adult going through the process of healing, has been discovering my identity. This is a strange process to go through in your late twenties <ahem> early thirties <ahem> at my age.

Today I bought a copy of the sheet music for the audition piece I played, all those years ago. It is a real thrill to rediscover these talents and creativity. Almost too much of a thrill. To one in the process of recovery, it is almost intimidating. What if it all goes wrong again? What if I have to give it all up again? What if I fall in love with writing and music and creating with the same burning passion that my Creator made me… and then life steals it all, again? Can I go through that pain again?

But maybe…. Maybe the real truth is that I never lost these things. Maybe… they are God-breathed – and not possible to lose.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth…

Psalm 98:4 NRSVA

…the mountains and the hills before you
    shall burst into song,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

Seems like music is an inescapable part of living.