Dear Lucy: My next door neighbor is a music freak. He plays music all day long. He gets up at 6:30 in the morning and starts to blast. When he comes home at six in the evening he starts to blast again. He always turns it down when I ask him to, but I just don't understand how someone can need to listen to music like that. What do you think?
– Earplugs Wanted
Dear Earplugs: The good news is that your neighbor will turn the music down when you ask. The fact that you have to ask and he is cooperative about it may simply mean that while quiet is important to you, music is equally important to him.
I also love the quiet and always have. My husband would clock how long I could happily ride in the car with him in total silence. He loved talking and listening to music. He liked coming home and having music and television on at the same time. I was raised to escape into a book whenever I had free time. He was raised to enjoy the distraction and escape that music or TV provides.
Our methods of survival and escape inside our home environments was simply different. As we learned to live together we figured out ways to compromise about how we needed our shared space to work. It was so worth it. He appreciated and took advantage of my joy of reading and I learned to enjoy music more. So, you and your neighbor have reached a good compromise.
When we encounter things we don't understand we either judge or seek understanding. I applaud your patience and desire to understand. Music is more than entertainment. For many it is a much needed escape and comfort; and for some it is the only escape.
I like what JayZ says about rap... He says that he was so surprised when so many people appreciated and fell in love with his music. Many told him that they did so because his stories were also their stories and experiences set to a beat that allowed them to digest and process them without being overwhelmed.
Some movies have director's cuts. The director's cuts don't have the music behind them. When you watch the scene without the music it's drab and not nearly as filled with emotion, anticipation or emotional release. Can you imagine what the movie "Jaws" would be like without the music?
Some of us live our lives to the backdrop of music. I recently went on the inaugural Soul Train Cruise. Listening to Patti Labelle, the Ohio Players and War, to name a few, in live concert each of six nights was like reliving my life from the 60's thru the 90's. Every song brought back a very specific, detailed, living color memory!
It was very healing because some of those things I needed to remember just so I could love them for the lessons I learned from them. It was amazing to watch people spontaneously get up and dance. The really cool thing was how the words just came back to mind and the entire audience sang along with every song!
Music, dance and song, whether in church, at home, at the movies, at the club, riding along in the car, alone or with others is a way of managing our spiritual health and emotional release. Sometimes it allows us to laugh, sing, dance and cry all at the same time. And like all things, it really works well when it is balanced and conscientious.
Maybe you can find the music that touches your soul, brings you peace and urges you to sing along, to tap your feet or helplessly dance with joy.
Wishing you a song in your heart,
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or from her website.)