I hate to admit it, but the losses of the past year, and the isolation imposed by the virus, have left me fighting a daily battle with depression. Most days it’s a draw, some days I win, some I lose. The last few days, I have taken a serious ass whooping.
I just armed myself with my magic weapon for today’s battle. I put my ear buds in and activated Pandora. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t listened for a while. I just had the feeling that I should do it now.
The first music played was John Williams recording of The Throne Room from Star Wars. (Listen: the distant sound of stories rattling the bars.) That sound grew loud enough for me to sit down and try to share a story with you.
Rita was music major, as you know. She had a wonderful voice. Opera, Broadway whatever. She was great. I, however, have no musical ability whatsoever.
And I can provide several hundred witnesses to offer proof.
But music is important. And if I can finish this story, it is magic indeed.
When we lived in Connecticut we learned that John Williams was going to give a free concert at Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. So we packed the camper, got a site not too far away, and got ready for what was to become an enduring memory.
This was not just a concert. It was a beautiful fall day. We sat fifteen feet away from John Williams and the Boston Pops orchestra. It was a rehearsal for that night’s performance at Symphony Hall in Boston. (Well, duh)
Before each piece, J.W. for brevity, explained to the audience what the piece was, and how he composed it. You know, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T. and the like.
We learned that, before writing a note, he watched the complete movie with no sound. No dialogue. Just the actions he was to bring to life.
After explaining each scene, the orchestra rehearsed it. As they played, we were able to witness the transformation of symbols on paper into something that can stir every emotion in the human soul. A truly magic weapon.
That night, we went back to the campground and listened to the entire concert.
It’s hard to describe the feeling we had. It was as if we had participated in something that would be uplifting to everyone who listened.
All these years later, just thinking about that day gladdens my heart. It represents so many of the wonderful memories we shared.
I have to thank J.W., Pandora, and whatever force had me start listening at that precise moment in time. Right now, I’m looking down into the pit, not up from it.
Today I won.
I’m writing this today, because I know some of you are fighting the same battle, and maybe, just maybe, these words will help you find your own magic weapon. And next time you need it, it will help you win that battle.
And who knows, that might end the war.