Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Lost My Music

Following is a short article appearing in the Abbotsford News sometime next week. Here is the unedited sneak preview. Enjoy.

As you’ve no doubt noticed, musicians are an odd and eccentric assortment. If you took an honest look at every single musician you will be able to see that they fit into one of two categories: 1) emotional, or 2) overly emotional. This, in all likelihood, is a good thing because great music and peculiar interviews start with honest emotions. So, if you are an emotional musician, grab a box of Kleenex and brace yourself for what I am about to say.

Music is not something you create or make…ever.

Music is something you find. No matter how much of a creative genius you think you are when it comes to writing music – you aren’t; you may be a creative genius, true, but you are not writing the music. You may write the words, but you only ever find the music.

Music is something you discover.

For example, everything that has ever been played on the guitar and ever will be played on the guitar is already right there in the guitar hidden away in the strings and frets. This came as incredible insight for me because suddenly I didn’t have to worry about playing what was written down, taught, or conventional. Simply, I could find the music that was already there. Perhaps someday I’ll play like Jimmy Page or Van Halen because I have done the hard work of discovery and not gone the cheap, easy, and lazy route of buying music.

Discovery is far more interesting then photocopy. Imagination is far more interesting then reproduction because imagination, coupled with its soul mate, creativity, is the foundation of discovery. And discovery is so exciting; it brings us to new unexplored and sometimes scary places of which some even contradict each other.

Contradiction, while defying logic, does not defy science. Quantum mechanic scientist Niels Bohr explains, “Get creative: combine opposites, mix and match what doesn’t work, find differences and exploit it! Enjoy that reality, even at a physical atomic level, can harbor mutually exclusive ideas that can both be right.” Fascinating! Especially if you are looking for something that cannot really be explained adequately. It’s like looking for a God who loves you but allows famine and AIDS orphans in a world He created.

I cannot explain that.

But music might be able to.

Music is a process of discovery that helps us to remember our history and acts as the soundtrack for all of the moments that come together to make up life. Music sets the mood for how we feel and helps us to understand what is actually happening right now. It gets into our very soul.

I am not sure that I could actually put a definition of music into writing for fear of limiting its power over people and culture. However, if I had to write a definition of music I would probably suggest something like this: music is what already lives, finds its way into our emotions, and expresses itself in how we live. It is the harmony and rhythm of how we live life and, if you listen hard enough, you will find music everywhere.

Likewise, I’m not sure I could put a definition of God into writing for fear of limiting who He is. I would have to be greater then God and have a larger perspective then His perspective in order to do something like that. That is why I can’t tell you who God is. At very most I can try my best to give you some examples of what I believe God is like and, at this particular moment, I think God is a lot like music.

Jeremy Postal is a twentysomething who left Facebook to rejoin reality. He pastors at Christian Life Community Church in Abbotsford. You can interact with this column @

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