Music Time

Although I love music I rarely have time to listen to it.  My work demands concentration and if I have music on I have trouble paying attention to the task before me.  I awake early to write, and if I try to listen to music while expressing my thoughts through my fingers I find myself conflicted.  I work until supper and the debriefing time that follows work is often fraught—we’re all experiencing frustrations with our new, pandemic reality.  By the time supper’s over, I’m ready for sleep and one of the things that can keep me awake is an ear-worm.  Awake predawn the next day and repeat.  On rare occasions when I have a thoughtless task to complete on my job, I’ll be able to put on some tunes.

Photo credit: Al Aumuller/New York World-Telegram and the Sun, from Wikimedia Commons

When that rare syzygy came the other day I put on MCR, or, for those who like to spell things out (such as me), My Chemical Romance.  Every time I listen to MCR I wonder why I don’t do it more.  I suppose it’s because I have only two of their albums and I don’t want to wear them out.  What struck me as I listened to The Black Parade was how religious language sometimes creeps in, even when the band is secular.  This is important because rationalists have long been trying to dismantle religious thinking, falsely associating it with only certain amorphous groups such as “Fundamentalists” or “extremists.”  Religion, however, is very much a part of being human.  If we deny it, it simply crops up in another form.  It may take some time for the new shape to be recognized, but when it is it’ll be called religious.

I often wonder why universities, which are supposed to be such curious places, tend to show so little interest in religion.  It’s like that embarrassing uncle at a family gathering—the one everyone else avoids.  Still, our political system is run by religious ideology—take a look at the Supreme Court and try to deny it.  Our daily life is suffused with it like the air in a room with a scented oil diffuser.  Religion is all around us and the academic response tends to be “meh.”  I might be less distressed by this lack if it could be demonstrated that people are becoming less religious, but they’re not.  MCR doesn’t (in the albums I have) exude religious thoughts often, but they are there.  They also appear in other secular music, almost as often as sex and drugs.  If only I had more time I might be able to listen for more examples.  Right now, however, it is time to get to work.

3 thoughts on “Music Time

  1. Hi Steve,

    I know, right now, in the U.S. if you have a job, then be grateful. But we’ve seen over the past few months that, aside from your job, life does go on, and sometimes, totally requires immediate attention, which then, removes you, from that job you have.

    Passions and things we enjoy are very important right now. Locked up at home for long periods of time has taught me to make time for things that bring me joy. My work life has shriveled up, because our access points have been shut down for months, so I am freelancing right now.

    You have said that, you run in the mornings, until winter comes. And you read, voraciously, for work, for the book that is coming, and for fun. How do you portion out that specific category of reading, when one area might need more attention than the other two?

    You seem to be on auto pilot and you follow a ritual that turns 24 hours into a sort of ground hog day, (day after day). Your repetitious ritual that never changes, is going to get old sooner or later.

    So what do you do?

    I have set reading times (always before bed). I also have my love of music. if I leave the house, my phone is attached and I listen to music, out and back. There is a certain young man on You Tube named Kraig Adams, who hikes all over the world and records his ventures for the masses. He compiled 4 hours of hiking videos into one playset, which each hike is set to a particular soundtrack. I sometimes find myself watching specific hikes, because they are peaceful and are a great way to meditate when my brain won’t switch off.

    We are not getting any younger, and like I said, the ritualistic way you live your life, is, I fear, going to become a pain in the ass, the older you get. Time waits for no one. And we only have a set amount of time on this earth.

    Would you not agree, that adding a little fun and passion, into our lives is worth the time taken from other areas that ARE mundane and ritualistic?

    Life without Books, is no life, the same goes for music.

    Sermon ended !


    • Hi Jeremy,

      My ritualistic living is often the only thing that keeps me going. Those of us with a deep sense of displacement often finds that it helps. Weekends offer some change to the routine, but not as much as vacation does.

      This year we’ve had no vacation. I’ve had no time off work apart from the occasional long weekend, for nearly a year now. I hope to remedy that over the holidays, but I work so much because I fear so much.

      I’m reading about the Jesuits at the moment and it reminds me that some of us find routine a comfort, as problematic as it is.



  2. Pingback: Music Time | Talmidimblogging

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