|Down on the flats in Cleveland|
Music is magic, transcending time and space; Music creates images and words we can't find on our coffee-stained papers, filling in the blank spaces in our lives that need illustration; Music augments reality, evoking tangible feelings only achieved through a perfect combination of measures and melodies.
When I was younger, I was the girl who'd post lyrics from her favorite song as an away message on AIM (and maybe I still do the same thing on Facebook. . .). Any time anyone says even one word from a song, I'm the first person to start singing its lyrics. Most of my life's advice for myself and others comes from Bob Dylan and The Beatles or one of my favorite hymns. Music has been gifted to me through those who do it best. It's a daily inspiration and encouragement for every moment in my life, acting as a safe haven when I've experienced some of life's inevitable storms. Music surrounds my favorite memories, and my worst memories. It's helped me grieve, love, understand and grow. I think anyone who loves music can agree that it has the power to take our minds to a place that seems far away but instead is giving us the means to remain in the present moment when our minds are usually running in a million different directions.
Around this time of year there's a lot of a gift-giving that happens between friends and loved ones. Seeing Johnnyswim in Cleveland this past Thursday reminded me how God gifts each person with a talent that often becomes our passion, enabling us to use it in creative ways as we interact with the rest of the world. As a new fan of theirs, I entered the Music Box Supper Club with fresh ears, only familiar with their NPR Tiny Desk concert (see above^^, it's a must-watch vid!). The band's raw talent and chemistry on stage fully engaged the audience as they went through some old tracks and current Christmas renditions. I was overwhelmed, as I usually am, by the simple, pure bliss of listening to live music.
Abner Ramirez, the husband of the married duo, inserted comments throughout the concert. Among his jokes and stories, he mentioned how playing live and doing what he loves isn't about his personal enjoyment on stage, but the happiness and love of music that creates an aura in the room between the performers and the audience. He continued describing how music brings people together, pulling us into its melody, creating harmony in our minds and carrying us to a place of utmost joy. Music is the gift Ramirez was given, in order to give to others. Throughout Jonnyswim's performance, it was obvious their hearts were set on fire for sharing their talent in the hopes that it might positively motivate those in the crowd.
|winter old-fashioned; Mad Men anybody?|
Everyone's gifts are different. Some of us might still be searching for our niche, but it will be revealed as we move throughout each stage of life. Our gifts from God aren't meant for selfish reasons, but in order to create a better kingdom on earth. This Christmas season don't just be thinking about the gifts you can wrap in a red bow, but the ones that create faith, peace, love, hope and joy.