“There are people out there - unique human beings with uncommon desires - each of whom deserves ten minutes of beautiful music. That’s why we’re musicians. You never know who is listening. It might be someone who really needs the music you play. Maybe the person who needs it most is you.” Robin Meloy Goldsby, Piano Girl
Last night I was in a grumpy mood. I was fed up with bureaucracy and modern day annoyances. I got a nail in my tire and had to buy a new one. I got a notice in the mail about a new fee arbitrarily imposed that I would have to pay.
It was an “I think I’ll move to Australia" kind of day.
Then last night I went to a concert. It was my friend’s high school end-of-the year Pops concert, a night when the choirs appear on stage in matching t-shirts and jeans, when (some incredibly talented) soloists took the mike in the style of The Voice and belted out songs of their own choosing. There was a live band. There were strobe lights. There was purple haze.
And all of a sudden I wasn’t grumpy anymore. Who could be, in the face of so much music being so thoroughly enjoyed?
Goodness knows, we all need a little bit of beauty in our daily lives. Music is one of the ways I’ve always gotten my daily dose: sitting down at the piano and playing whatever takes my fancy for 10 minutes or 2 hours, depending on what the day will allow. Sometimes it’s the same way with writing. I might be in bad mood, I might think there isn’t an ounce of creativity in my head, I might be as certain sure as anything that I have absolutely nothing to say.
And then I pick up a pen.
The words come from somewhere, every single time. Words I need to write, words that need to be said. Sometimes I share them here, sometimes I let them stay buried in the pages of my journal, but I always feel differently when I’m done.
Perhaps we should think of art as a public service. Even in small doses, it is a powerful thing - to hear beautiful music, read words that resonate in your soul, stare into the depths of a masterful painting. It can turn your day around, perhaps even turn your life around. Art heals by "activating the medicines of creative imagination.” Current studies confirm that "art has the power to evoke strong transformative responses in the observers’ psyche by changing their emotions, attitudes, and behaviors."
The medicines of creative imagination - we can all use those, probably more than some of the expensive prescription drugs we turn to in times of anxiety and stress. You never know who most needs to hear your music, read your words, or envision your art. It might be your partner, your child, your friend. It might be a total stranger.
It might be you.