We must pass through solitude and difficulty

We must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, to find that enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song. But in that dance, and in that song, the most ancient rites of our conscience fulfill themselves in the awareness of being human.

~ from "Letters of Solitude" in The Spirit of the Earth v. 5, no. 2

I live by breathing in and breathing out

I live by breathing in and breathing out. I sing by transforming this breath into sound, the sound which in turn forms the material for contents of the soul. Our life stretches from morning until evening, from dusk to dawn embracing the night...In these elements the soul rises and falls in equal measure between above and below, between light and dark. The human voice is based on the same elements.

~ Alfred Wolfsohn

Hosts of warbling sparrows keep repeating Your name

My Lord,
Lord of the mountain grove,
At dawn
Hosts of warbling sparrows
Sing a song.
They keep repeating
Your name.

~ Andal, India, 8th c. from WOMAN PRAYERS

Music still inside us

Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us.

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Where I become a part of nature's song

There is a quiet place I know where nature sings to me the music of the mountains and the forest and the sea. It is not far away, and yet it sometimes seems a place removed from daily life, a distant dream of time and space. I have been lost in city streets, in traffic fast and loud, where sirens scream and nature’s voice is drowned out by the crowd. And so I go to seek that place where I become a part of nature’s song–that quiet place I’ve found within my heart.

~ Paul Conrad

Silence is disturbing

Silence is disturbing because it is the wavelength of the soul. If we leave no space in our music, then we rob the sound we make of defining context...It’s almost as if we’re afraid of leaving space. Great music is as often about the space between the notes as it is about the notes themselves...What I’m trying to say here is that if I’m ever asked if I’m religious, I always reply, "Yes, I’m a devout musician." Music puts me in touch with something beyond intellect, something otherworldly, something sacred.

~ "Silence in Music" from a commencement speech by Sting

Listening is our bridge from the outer world to the inner world

Listening is our bridge from the outer world to the inner world. Music creates multiple levels of listening. Learning to listen to music in creative ways provides the means for health improvement in the body, enhanced communication, and expression. For music has all the universal components of language, emotions, and expression. There is music in silence; thus meditation and hours of silence heighten awareness of our body rhythms and sounds.

~ Don Campbell in THE SOUL OF CREATIVITY, ed. By T. P. Myers

As we listen to music

As we listen to music we enter into the mystery of another person’s inner life.

~ Margaret Rizza

Music is a celebration of meaning

Play needs no purpose. That is why play can go on and on as long as players find it meaningful. After all, we do not dance in order to get somewhere. We dance around and around. A piece of music doesn’t come to an end when its purpose is accomplished. It has no purpose, strictly speaking. It is the playful unfolding of a meaning that is there in each of its movements, in every theme, every passage: a celebration of meaning.

~ from GRATEFULNESS, THE HEART OF PRAYER by Br. David Steindl-Rast, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles

You are only a little wave

You are only a little wave.
Let yourself do and undo things,
But sing out of your own liberty.
~ Jean Sulivan
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