city

Definition of Music

music

In my Introduction to Music course that I am taking this semester, my professor asked the class to define music in our own terms, and I thought the best way to describe it is with a blog post.

The past weekend I went to Winter Jam in Philadelphia, PA, which was a free outdoor concert. When my friends first invited me, I thought they were completely crazy, because not only was it an outdoor concert, but it was an outdoor concert during one of the coldest/snowy weekends. I didn’t think my first choice for a weekend outing would be standing in the feels-like-below-zero weather and snow, but I was clearly mistaken.

My friends and I stood at that concert for more than five hours, but it’s a memory I hope to hold onto. During the concert, I had to just look around and see how many people had showed up. It was such a surprise to see that many people willing to stand in the cold for a concert, but it made sense to me. Music brings people together.

There’s something amazing about that idea, that no matter the weather, the time, the place, if music is somehow involved it’s like none of those things matter. Complete strangers can get together and bond as one unified group for the same love they all share: music.

This concert stood apart from all other concerts I had attended. I was able to bond with complete strangers, hold hands with girls while we danced to the music, sing to my favorite songs with my friends and crowd members, let go of agendas and stress and just enjoy the sound of talented musicians and crazy fans. There is no textbook definition that could best describe music as an experience like that.

 

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When Roots Turn Into Roads

oneway

We had dreams

tucked neatly in

our back-pockets,

and we set off

toward the neon lights

and sky beasts.

The stars were our shields

and our whispers cut like

a steel sort of sword.

There is passion on the

tips of our tongues

and loud heartbeats

deep in our throats.

I see a tree

that splits its trunk,

and it spills out

coarse gravel and macadam.

Each gnarled, knotty branch

curves and beckons me

to take a different path.

The roots expand

and push through placid

pavements.

Our walk continues,

with footsteps crunching

the leaves of a home

I’ve been wanting to forget.

But the cobblestones

become cab lights,

and the swing sets become

shiny street signs,

and I understand

the romance of

creative minds

will require only train fares

and intertwined

arms.

A Happy Life

She often wondered if there was more to her life. She almost had everything she ever wanted; a job, a place to live, friends, a strong marriage. Every so often, she thought maybe she was just settling into a predetermined life.

She sat alone and had these thoughts on the balcony of the apartment, more frequently than ever before, as she waited for her husband to come home from work.

The sun was shining over the city, casting its rays on her stretched out legs, warming her body. Every so often a billowy cloud would float over the sun, creating a hazy glaze in the sky. Eventually, the sun was covered by one cloud that decided to stay.

She watched this cloud. No matter how hard the sun tried to burst through its whiteness, the cloud remained. She could see the outline of the sun, small and bright, but it never could escape the cloud’s presence.

She couldn’t stop staring at the cloud. Why couldn’t it just leave the sun be? All it wanted to do was shine down on the city, make its rounds around the sky. It didn’t need the cloud. But still the cloud remained.

The sun didn’t need the cloud. It was fine without it. It could shine on the city and cheer everyone’s day up, do all the things the sun was supposed to do. She couldn’t figure out why, but staring at the cloud and sun made her realize she didn’t need him.

His sweet and charming smile made her feel shy and small. He floated around the office, passing her desk in quick movements so that she could smell his cologne. She normally talked to everyone in the office, but with him around, she felt her own energy shrinking. Inside she felt bright and happy, but she couldn’t let out anything, afraid to say something she would regret.

She tried to dismiss these thoughts, and told herself could still have a great life, all the things she ever wanted–her husband included–without him. However, like the sun, she couldn’t get away from him. She couldn’t push away his presence, couldn’t forget how he drank coffee like her. Or the way he noticed when she would coordinate her earrings to her blouse.

Just then, she heard the screen door open and her husband walked onto the balcony. She jumped, startled at the idea that maybe he could read her thoughts and know she felt something toward her coworker.

“Hey, did I scare you?” her husband smiled and embraced her, his hair slightly touseled and his eyes a bit weary.

“Oh, no I was just sitting in the sun,” she said, walking inside.

“Huh, it looks cloudy at the moment. Let’s go inside and make some food,” he walked in and she shut the door behind them.

As she was closing it, she looked out towards the sky and saw the sun had finally broken free from the cloud. The cloud slowly crept away, inching itself away from the sun. As it moved, she was sure that the sun looked a little less bright, as if the cloud had given it something that it needed all along.

Maybe the sun needed the cloud after all.