Sunday, January 29, 2012

music just does "it" to me

Everyone has something that does "it" to them. You know...IT. That indescribable feeling that makes you experience multiple emotions all at once. Each person has a different trigger for "it"; some have more than one. But I realized a long time ago that music did "it" to me. Still does... And every time, "it" still feels brand new.

In my case, music transports me to a mind-altered state. One in which the laws of the universe are non-existent and my consciousness takes on another form. By that, I mean that a song, a tune, the first few notes of a composition all instantaneously give me flashbacks to the environment/emotions/frame of mind I was in when I originally heard it. For most people, this kinda thing happens with smells. And that's no coincidence because the olfactory system happens to have a direct pathway to the area of the brain that also stores and processes emotional memory. (Sorry... went nerd on ya for just a little bit, but I digress.) However, yours truly experiences this phenomenon instead through hearing music. Some research has been done in this area, as well, but lets just keep talking about me, shall we? :o)

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So I'll openly admit my 'soft spot' for 90s R&B music, and I'm guessing that has something to do with the fact that it provided most of the soundtrack for my rebellious phase during adolescence (i.e. sneaking and listening to secular music so my mom wouldn't know). And it's nothing short of amazing the way a song I haven't heard or thought of in almost 20 years can elicit a That's So Raven-esque type of vision of everything that was going on in my life when I first used to listen to it. It's so intense that not only my mind's eye is seeing what I used to see, raw emotions wash over me like waves tsunami. Like, I can remember as far back as age 4 or 5--singing What's Love Got to do With It. And now, hearing that song reminds me that I would sing it to keep my mind off the fact that my parents were fighting. They got divorced shortly after.

And then there's music as a function of worship. I've chronicled my thoughts on the way music affects mood (and at some point, I'm gonna post on the true purpose of music), but when it's power is intentionally harnessed to exalt the most high God?! #chillsupmyspine That is sumthin' kinda serious! I don't play instruments or produce beats but, thankfully, I was blessed with the ability to hold a note. Singing came naturally to me as a little young thang and I grew up singing solos in church and being one of the crunkest altos you'll ever find in choirs. But whether alone or within a group, singing to the glory of God is able to skyrocket my spirit out into the stratosphere. I recall having my very first independent experience with the Holy Spirit during a rehearsal with my gospel choir in college. Other times when we went to minister through song, I've felt nothing short of out-of-body experiences... spiritually transcending time and space while being fully aware of where my body is standing and knowing which words come next in the song. #truestory I'm not doing a lick of justice in trying to articulate this, but I can truly say that mere words fall short in every way. You just have to feel it for yourself.

Ultimately, I'm grateful to have the soundtrack of my life stored in the recesses of my mind, only needing a few notes to bring it back to recall. Hmmmm... ain't that sumthin'??! Evolutionary theory notwithstanding, can't nobody tell me there is no God!


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