Maybe it's because music is about as physical as it gets: your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound, your breath. We're walking temples of noise, and when you add tender hearts to this mix, it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn't get to any other way.
A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft—you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft—you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it's loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy.
When we're dealing with the people in our family - no matter how annoying or gross they may be, no matter how self-inflicted their suffering may appear, no matter how afflicted they are with ignorance, prejudice or nose hairs - we give from the deepest parts of ourselves.
This is where I liked to be when I was hangover or coming down off a cocaine binge, here in the dust with all these dusty people, all this liveliness and clutter and color, things for sale to cheer me up, and greasy food that would slip down by throat.
What can we say beyond Wow, in the presence of glorious art, in music so magnificent that it can't have originated solely on this side of things? Wonder takes our breath away, and makes room for new breath.
I'm drawn to almost any piece of writing with the words 'divine love' and 'impeachment' in the first sentence. But I know the word 'divine' makes many progressive people run screaming for their cute little lives, and so one hesitates to use it.
Thanks' is a huge mind-shift, from thinking that God wants our happy chatter and a public demonstration and is deeply interested in our opinions of the people we hate, to feeling quiet gratitude, humbly and amazingly, without shame at having been so blessed.
You don't even have to know how or in what way, but if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.
Do it every day for a while, my father kept saying. Do it as you would do scales on the piano. Do it by prearrangement with yourself. Do it as a debt of honor. And make a commitment to finishing things.