Mind on Death Cab (or Death Cab on Mind – A Wonderful Energy)

Suppose you suffered from a pain so long you learned to forget it was there, like a thin needle – too small to see, but too bothersome to ignore – was inserted into your flesh while you were preoccupied, and it remained festering for years. What would it feel like if the pain suddenly went away?

What if the needle were removed?

        “I descended a dusty gravel ridge…”

        Those words, melodious and dynamic, sailing like wind over an ocean of crafted sound, somehow become as surgeon’s fingers. The needle in my flesh is removed. The small, incremental torment ceased. I smile unintentionally; I smile because I can’t help myself. The pain is gone, and I am happy.

         What a mysterious energy is music. I’ve listened to it all my life, written and performed for much of it as well, and still it surprises me. I barely understand music, though I can’t help but think it’s born of the same stardust that came to form you and me and this beautiful world. It’s the language we speak when words fail us. It’s the golden thread that connects us when we fail to understand each other. It’s the melody that echoes the hum in our bones.

         Earlier tonight, I listened as the voice of the band with the strange name sang a song I love so much. “Love is watching someone die,” he sings at the end. The song always makes me think of my last moments with my father, watching him die. Tonight, it made me think of my precious sister, sick in the hospital, and I wonder if I were to leave this audio sanctuary, go to that hospital and tell the doctor that I have the cure for her in my blood. “So take it, Doc,” I could say. “Take all the magic O-Neg from my veins, and give it to her. Take it, and make her better, and don’t mind that it leaves me a shriveled husk. I don’t mind. Tonight I have no pain, and I don’t mind a thing.”

        There is something about the mysterious energy of music that transcends time. I feel the transcendence now, as the group with the strange name has performed hours of wizardry in a single moment. I might have only imagined this magic trick of theirs, but I brought a friend with me, and he witnesses the same. We feel the same thing often, my friend and I. We’re different in many ways, but I think the same song may have been floating in the atmosphere at our creation, because as long as we’ve known each other, we’ve completed each others’ songs. I can’t read his mind, but I can read his songs. Isn’t that something? I don’t understand much in this world, but when my friend brings me a piece of his song, I somehow know the song’s missing part. Like I’ve heard it before, perhaps when my mind was yet stardust.

        What a strange and wonderful energy is music.

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