Fixing Me

As we get older, we are expected to develop a certain competency that involves living in this world.  As much as anything, we are expected to overcome that lack of operational manual for ourselves, and be able to fix ourselves to some extent.  Some things become very clear.  For instance, I know that if I have respiratory symptoms (snottiness, sore throat, hoarseness, cough) I can ignore them up to a point, but if the snot (it’s a medical term, ok?!) turns some awful shade of green I will need an antibiotic.  That is one of the “fixes” I have learned. 

Less easy to pinpoint is the fix for “malaise”-that feeling that something is wrong, but without specificity.  Today I was reminded that my own personal requirement for music has not been met, and I have had resultant malaise.  Every year my wonderful ex-in-laws, POP, have invited me to their church for the Christmas concert.  With Dayna’s caring help I finally made it today.  The large church choir was accompanied by a number of members of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, performing extraordinary arrangements of familiar Christmas music and some less familiar tunes.  This was interspersed with inobtrusive narration about the Christmas story, and punctuated by incredibly fluid, almost dance-like interpretation in sign language.  The whole package was cohesive, healing, sustaining, fixing something in me that had been felt as a subtle malaise with an elusive cause.  I rocked and nodded my head to the music, tapped my foot, waved my hands, and clapped in that hollow-palmed, resonant way that I learned as a child in Germany.   

As I write this I am playing Coldplay’s “Fix You”, first their version, then the version by Young@Heart.  The latter group I know from, where they have a video that shows them to be older, with a lead singer whose gravelly, sweet voice handles the lyrics quietly, with poignance.  He is seated and wearing nasal oxygen.  The whole presentation speaks to our need for fixing that does not come from physical prowess or superficial beauty, but from wisdom and caring.   The old gentleman sings “tears stream down your face when you lose something you cannot replace,” and you know that he has seen many losses. 

Speaking of fixing, I awoke with deep aches, and a warm bath and handful of pills did not make me feel I could make it.  Dayna did her very best to fix me, again not with physical prowess but with caring and encouragement.  She gave me an infusion of “you can do it” and “come on, Mama” with such gentleness and grace that I feel as affected by her tenderness as by the lovely concert.  She did it because she knew innately that I would be blessed by the hearing of the music. 

I have not abandoned music intentionally or knowingly.  I have access to music on my computer, my television, my CD player, my piano…virtually all over my house, and yet the only place where I automatically turn it on is in my car.  Somehow I have grown accustomed to depriving myself of something that is like an essential amino acid to my psyche.  Even in my choice of worship, my infrequent church visits are now to a church that sports an anemic remnant of a choir and songs that are so intellectual and laden with modern messages that they are virtually unsingable. 

I hope that today will stay with me a while as a reminder that cashmere goes well with music, knitting goes well with music, breathing and living go well with music, and I will go much better with music.  If it doesn’t, maybe one of you will kindly thump me on the head and point to the nearest set of headphones.



2 Responses

  1. Lovely! Thanks for sharing. Love the essential amino acid to my psyche reference!!!

  2. I have a tendency to do the very same thing..thanks for a beautiful reminder, and what a treasure your daughter must be…

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