The Background Track of My Life

There are so many sides to creativity…so many different ways to express that burning desire that resides deep down inside of one’s deeply interwoven self. My way to express myself is through Poetry and writing.  More so the Poetic side of me, but I do have moments where the written word comes from that intense inner fire. But there are so many other aspects of personal creativity that can stoke that fire and make the flames lick ever higher inside me.

View From Medicine Wheel
View From Medicine Wheel

There is the gorgeous beauty of the world around me. The breath-taking view of the surrounding area from Medicine Wheel in the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming moved me to a sense of pure awe and joy. The serenity of that moment has stayed with me for a little under a year now, and I sincerely yearn to return to Medicine Wheel and spend a much longer time up at that very moving place. There’s also the artistic aspect as well. I can spend hours in a museum and marvel at the beauty of works of art – particularly paintings and sculptures. The photo I have here is of a recreated sculpture of “Capricorn” by Max Ernst. Many people I have talked to about this particular work of art get a little

Capricorn - Max Ernst
Capricorn – Max Ernst

creeped out by it, but I find it completely fascinating. A piece of Surrealistic sculpture done in bronze, it captures little ripples in my thinking in such a free manner. When I saw this at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, I was literally spellbound for several moments. There’s also the moments of acting brilliance, such as Robin Williams’ portrayal of the fictional John Keating in “Dead Poet’s Society” – a movie that still excites me today, particular as I have started along my Path as a college professor.

But despite all of these – its music that remains my primary love, and the truest part of inspiration for me. And my taste in music is quite eclectic. At one time, I can be listening to Damh the Bard, Fiona Davidson, or Spiral Dance. The next moment can find Queen, Rush, Epica, or Kamelot piping through my speakers. Other times can find Al Di Meloa, Yanni, Kitaro, Coyote Oldman, or Douglas Spotted Eagle playing softly in the background. It all depends on my current mood and frame of my mind. But rarely do I not have music playing on my iMac’s speakers. Currently, I have Judas Priest’s “Out in the Cold” playing as I am typing this.

For me, music sets the stage for my mind. Hard-driving music gets my blood pumping, and makes for a good companion during my walks through the neighborhood. When I am trying to write, I typically have some soft instrumental music in the background – usually First Nation in flavor. When I am grading papers, my choices are normally the various “sounds of Nature” tracks that I have. Even the sounds of animals making their typical noises, and the wind whispering in the branches and leaves is a form of music for me. And a form of inspiration I can draw from.

I also find music is a good form of bonding with my fellow humans. I cannot relay the number of times I have had lengthy conversations concerning musical artists with people I barely know. Nor can I count the number of times that the same strain of conversation becomes the opening line for a second and third meeting with those same people. There’s a connective matter at hand there – and connections are so very important.

At one point, I was attending the Dallas Summer Musicals every weekend. It was enjoyable. That Summer, it happened that my favorite musical – The Phantom of the Opera – was being performed on my birthday. It was absolutely amazing – I sat in the dark and marveled at the story I knew so well, being played out before my eyes – and the sounds of the songs I know so very well. I think I may have to look into attending the Dallas Summer Musicals again next year – this year, I have a trip to NASA in Florida planned – and that would eat into the schedule significantly.

Yes, there is a music of the Elf – to slightly twist a musical phrase. Its an eclectic mix of hard rock, opera, First Nations, New Age, Classical, R&B, Classic Rock, Country, and Pop music. But its more than that – its a background to my Life. Just hearing the opening strains of “Heart of Rock and Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News will instantly remind me of a long road trip to Ruston, Louisiana with friends. Epica’s “Unleashed” reminds me of several scenes of me – dressed strangely and in manners I have never done so. Whether its touching some strange dream I had or something else, I cannot say for sure. But it certainly does touch something that seems to be a memory.

Music has power. Music brings stimulation to memory. It can be a powerful addition to a ritual or a personal meditation. It really is the background to my Life…

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