The ability of art and music to transport us into realms of lightness and levity in our heart is well known to many, if not all of us. The use of art and music in religious and spiritual practices is also well established over the millenia. Our deep, enriching experiences with these two mediums may even define many pivotal moments of our personal lives.
It is the personal nature of what we consider to be art – the scope of its breadth and depth – that attracts us to it. The same breadth and depth of attraction also applies to music. The line between “art” and “non-art”, between “music” and “noise”, is very thin, and very subjective. It is perhaps this freedom of subjectivity that has attracted many a famous “objective” person of the sciences to also excel in these mediums – Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Faraday come to mind.
As I reflected on what is it that represent art and music to me, bring me levity, some thoughts from my sitting and walking, came to heart. I share them here with you…
- Life’s music is like the ebb and flow of the rain – and the percussion it creates is the sound of the infinite
- Light rain on leaves – the same leaves that seemingly grew overnight, right before my eyes
- Symphony of birds in the pre-dawn hours, coming to a crescendo, just before sunrise
- Church bells in the distance, in harmony with the morning rain, the bird sounds
- Sound of sunrise – which silences the birds – perhaps they are dumbstruck by its beauty…
- Arrival of geese in the nearby lake, immediately after sunrise – they come in pairs, every few minutes
- After sunrise, a single bird starts the symphony anew – and one by one – the forest comes alive again
- The whoosh of the wind through the trees flanking me on both sides, as I silently walk the path
- The hopping of a robin – what sound does it make?
- The sound and beauty of a leaf falling into the temporary lagoons created by rain…
- The shaking off of last night’s rain by the leaves, as the drops cascade down several layers of branches
- The singing of my mothers and grandmothers in their native tongue (Punjabi) in their prayer rooms…
I notice that most of the above examples of art and music are from nature… which is perhaps appropriate because so many artists and musicians through the ages have been inspired by nature. What inspires you to create and appreciate art and music? Does art inspire you more than music – or is it the other way around? In your spiritual practice(s), do you find yourself incorporating more of art or more of music? What role do art and music play in your personal healing? If you were allowed to take the art/music of two favorite artists/musicians to a deserted island, which would you choose? Just thinking about these questions gives me a sense of lightness, of levity – how about you?!
I invite you to share with us, here in the comments, and in the weekly #SpiritChat conversation on twitter – Sunday, May 15th 2016 at 9amET(USA)/1pmUTC. We continue our broad theme of “Lightness and Levity” for the month of May, with Art and Music. Join us 🙂
“Heart” Artwork by my daughter – A.J.A.