by T. Perry Bowers
Music has always been powerfully present in my life. It calls me, beckons me, and even haunts me sometimes. Whether I put effort into it or not the musical spirit that lives inside of me will always remind me it’s there. I am grateful it speaks to me because without it I would be despondent. Music is my anti-depressant.
In my younger days I smoked pot. I loved it, but a voice inside me warned I was heading down a dangerous path. I had an addictive personality and reality would constantly smack me over the head. I was killing my intimate relationships, my business and my overall health. The spirit of music is the same voice that warned me. It reminds me life is barely worth living without it.
When they are feeling off track, many native people will go off and smoke their pipe- ceremonial tobacco pipe, that is. It’s a ritual that connects them to the earth and all of their relations. It helps them see what they can’t see. A few years ago, I was gifted with a sacred pipe and often, after I smoke it, I know exactly what to do in my life. It helps me put things in perspective. I don’t know how it works, but it does. I believe there are energies in this world bigger than us and when you connect in the right way to the right ones, they can help you.
Music does the same thing for me. Playing music is a discipline that requires effort: put your guitar case on the table, open it up, take it out, tune it and play it for a while. If you’re a singer, you have to sing because if you don’t sing often enough, your voice will weaken. If you’re a drummer you have to play real drums and move your body around the kit. There is physics involved and real, tangible things to navigate.
About eleven months ago, my fifth child was born – a boy. His name is Angelo and he is literally an angel. My heart swells at the thought of him. But lord he is a lot of work! Mix in a two year old and a couple of pre-teen girls and my life is very busy! I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it has diverted my energy away from music and the spirit is calling me. It understands. Music will be there when I get my head above water again.
Last night I had a dream I was singing one of my songs alone in a room. It was magical. It reminded me why I started to play music in the first place. It was a visceral connection to another realm.
Sound is a bridge to other dimensions. As musicians we have no idea of our impact on the universe. With all the suffering happening on earth and in our own lives we somehow find the time and energy to make beautiful noises. Even in the dead of winter we come together from our warm hovels to synergize and synchronize our sounds. You can’t put a value on that. Our sounds never stop traveling through the galaxy. Our desire to harmonize resonates forever.
Even though the calling of my family’s needs is stronger than it has ever been at the moment, the Spirit of Music is still there. Before Angelo was born I was practicing drums and guitar almost every day. Currently, I’m lucky if I get a few chances per week. I’m trying to be easy on myself. I know there’s a break on the horizon. When I do have the chance to practice for a bit, I am so grateful. It feels so natural. It is so healing.
If you’re a musician take some time out to thank the Spirit of Music. Thank it for giving you purpose and direction and maybe saving your life! Thank it for giving you the ability to connect deeply with other people and to the entire universe. That is no small thing.