Site icon Liesl Garner

Music Heard so Deeply, That it is Not Heard at All

This was originally written and posted in 2013 – but not much has changed. The world is still a mess, and I am still doing my best to mother – now teenagers and not little kids. We don’t really have Art & Music Night, or Science Night, or Language & Literature, World History, or Math Night anymore. We still read books together, and the one I’m reading with Bean has me so speechless and teary-eyed, I needed to refresh my heart with a post from the archives. I hope you enjoy!


This morning, I read T.S. Eliot again. Poetry is a dark and glorious thing to me. This morning, it was more dark than usual. The world is rather dark these days, and that is perhaps why I was struck so by the melancholy. Once again, it looks as if the entire world is ready to implode or explode, it cannot tell whether it wants to inhale poison or exhale venom.

And right here, right now, I have my children to raise and set down a path toward something that might be lovely for them. So I back off the edge of the precipice of downward, circling thoughts and focus on one line in the poem that gives me hope.

For most of us, there is only the unattended

Moment, the moment in and out of time,

The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,

The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning

Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply

That it is not heard at all, but you are the music

While the music lasts.

*T.S. Eliot, line from The Dry Salvages, out of Four Quartets

And I am spun into a world of remembering the music that has stopped me in my tracks.

Tonight is Art & Music Night and I want to share with my boys the music that feeds my soul. Aren’t we lucky to be parenting in the age of YouTube? Isn’t it just the most exciting time of all times to be sharing any amounts of wonders with our kids? I am blown away at the resources at our disposal.

Around here, we have a deep and abiding love for Heavy Metal, which has actually given me an idea for Science Night coming up real soon. I want to figure out which metals are light and which are heavy and have some sort of understanding of the linguistic meaning behind the phrase. (I can nerd out on just about anything, I tell you!)

There is so much classical music in, around, behind, throughout, and as an inspiration to Rock and Roll. I want my boys to see it and feel it. I would love to know that someday, they will hear a piece of music, that stops them, and gives them a shiver, and reminds them of all the love in the world that started right around our dinner table.

Several pieces of music have been inspirational to me. I have written poetry about several pieces. An article was published in the newspaper about my take on a very difficult piece that was performed at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. I love Classical Music. I love it so much I have to sit at the back of the hall so as not to distract people behind me. My whole body moves. I cannot help myself. I am a little dramatic.

And tonight I get to share some favorites with my boys. I haven’t figured out which visual artist to learn about at the same time. I’m too caught up in the idea of hearing music so deeply, that it is not heard at all, but you are the music, while the music lasts. And when it’s over, you have tears. Your body sags because so much tension has been coaxed out of you.

*Photo from here – because bright colors speak to me.

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