Music and Laughter

Posted: December 31, 2020 in humor, humour, Life, living, music
Tags: , , ,

Do you recall the last time you felt your heart pounding in excitement and joy? When was the last time you were caught by surprise? When was the last time you forgot about those irritating everyday topics like COVID and politics that only serve to drag you down?

For me that sense of invigoration happens fairly often now, usually related to my yogic meditation. But I remember the first time I had the feeling.

I’m not religious anymore but I can tell you the first time it happened was in a church. Specifically at a point in the singing when we reached the end of one of the many songs unique to that congregation, when everyone just landed on a note of their choosing. When you think about it, the result should only be chaos and discord. Yet at the very *very* end of it, we were in harmony.

It was beautiful. I can tell you: when it happened I wasn’t thinking about politics or illness or my school exams or my dating life or life prospects or anything else. I was completely “in the moment”: there was no tomorrow or yesterday in my mind. There was only now.

It was pure joy. I didn’t want it to end. When it did, I couldn’t wait for it to happen again. Which it did: again and again, after every song, we each landed on our own notes. The sound swelled as more voices joined in, and the discordant notes re-arranged themselves cheerfully until we were indeed in harmony. Every time.

The sound filled that cathedral and I found myself smiling through tears. For a 14-year old teenager who was otherwise experiencing a trauma-filled existence at home, this was an oasis of peace and joy.

The church eventually disbanded, and I found myself looking for similar experiences throughout my life. But it was a momentary thing, relatively speaking, never to be repeated. At least not in that context.

The fact so many of us from different cultures, places, sexes and ages could all agree to harmonize like this – albeit unconsciously – speaks to me of the true nature of humankind.

Whether you agree with those restrictions or not the bottom line is that people aren’t connecting right now. Other than food, shelter and safety it seems to be the one thing we all crave: connection. It’s the reason Facebook and other social media platforms exist.

Where you stand politically seems to take a back seat under some conditions. When it comes to single one-on-one situations, love and friendship will usually (but not always) supersede differences.

On a broader scale, I’ve noticed two things at least that serve to bring us together where we can forget our differences. Laughter does it: when you go to a stand-up or improv comedy show you tend to forget about all those other issues. And you can laugh together with your fiercest political opponent (unless the comedian’s specialty is political humour – I tend to avoid those). It’s pretty cool when you think about it.

Growing up in a household of horror was really only relieved when we were able to use humour. So we used it all the time. It limited our anxiety and fear, even if only for a bit.

Music has a similar effect: the vibration, sounds and beat really unites a crowd. When I attended the SARS concert here in Toronto with 500K other people – where a bunch of big named bands all performed from noon till after midnight on a big field – we all were pretty united. Especially when AC/DC came on stage and the opening guitar notes started playing “Thunderstruck”: every single heart on that gigantic field was immediately united in agreement. When the bass dropped and the drums thumped we ALL screamed “THUNDER.” Those of us who knew the words yelled ourselves hoarse (you can’t really call it singing as we couldn’t hear ourselves – we could only hear the drumbeat and guitars and the crowd).

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel .

Maya Angelou

I couldn’t tell you what my friends and I talked about when we were at that concert, nor can I remember what any of us wore that day. I can tell you that I felt amazing and great afterward, and that everyone was grinning and laughing and telling jokes and reliving the concert all the way home on the commuter train. The SARS event will live in my memory until the day I die. Just like the church harmonies mentioned at the top of this blog.

My heart and drive right now for this world is that we stop bitching and biting at each other. I know of only a handful of ways to get there. So…music and laughter it is.

Comments
  1. contoveros says:

    Music and laughter. Sounds like something the Greek gods created for us humans to live happily ever after.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a mind-blowing laugh fest last night talking to my dear friend in Florida over a video call. It was unexpected and just sheer joy! I live for all for those moments. I’m hoping to have many more. You’re so right though… I hope the rest of the world figures it out. Happy New Year Wolfie. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

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