The Music Abideth Forever

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the (music) abideth for ever.
– paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 1

Mom asked me if I’d like to go downstairs and listen to the music program in their retirement place with her. I thought this was a fine idea. Dad was taking a nap and she asked me to wake him so he could join us. I went in and kissed his forehead. His eyes blinked a couple times and opened. He saw me and smiled. “Hi, neighbor!” he said. I asked him if he wanted to go downstairs and listen to music with Mom and me and he thought this would be a great way to spend some time.

The music was fun – songs I’d never heard before. The residents all seemed to be familiar with the lyrics and sang along with some of the tunes. 

It occurred to me, then, that in maybe 10 or 20 years the music that will be blasting out of retirement homes will be The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, The Beatles, Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Hollies… and the idea of that cracked me up. 

“Who shall declare this generation?” Who shall decide what truth and love are?
– Mary Baker Eddy


Sitar Magic

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
– Roald Dahl

It’s been a crazy month, and yesterday I hied me up to Bellingham – my spiritual home – for a much needed recharge.

As I was walking along the path to Boulevard Park – on the edge of Bellingham Bay – I ran into a man with a sitar. I asked him about his instrument and he talked to me a bit about how a sitar is put together and why it makes the unique sound it makes. He let me touch the strings and run my hand over the smooth kaddu ka tumba. He’d found this sitar in Texas and had learned how to play it from a master sitar teacher in San Francisco. The sitar had been in an Indian family for seven generations before it came into his hands.

He didn’t want his face photographed – and I respected that – but he let me record his hands bringing out music from the strings.

I told him he had no idea how much I needed his music just then, and he said, “Oh, I do.” And then he played for me. I closed my eyes and opened my hands to whatever came to me – opened my thoughts up to the beauty and magic of that moment, and felt myself enveloped in harmony and peace – surrounded by a universe of Love.

Ancient sound. Ancient music.

I took a deep breath and he played the last note as I opened my eyes. The music only lasted a minute maybe – but it was all I needed.

I brushed the tears from my eyes and thanked him. He said, “Bless your heart.”

I went a little further on my walk then. On the way back I looked for him, but he had disappeared. And somehow that felt right to me – it made the moment when he played his sitar for me more magic somehow.

Mental melodies and strains of sweetest music supersede conscious sound. Music is the rhythm of head and heart.
– Mary Baker Eddy


Sitar in Bellingham