There is one thing for Jack, only one thing that he has embraced within since he was ten years old. It is seven musical notes that urge him on to seek more notes like that. A musical pathway that opens up into a canyon of music, ringing to Jack with the release of beauty sung or played.
The seven notes are the beginning notes of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. When Jack could play the piano, he would play that piece after lunch at home by himself. It calmed and washed all the grade school confusion away. He would then walk back to school and often, the neighborhood bully with the odd Croatian name would push him around a bit. Like most bullies, he was afraid of Jack and probably would have made a good friend if Jack had known how to do that. A learned skill for life, realized much later for Jack.
The music that stuns Jack when he hears it or plays it, suddenly makes him shiver with delight. “Oh, it’s You!” It draws the Inventor of music to share the wavelengths of love with Jack. Feels good.
Jack’s favorite author, C.S. Lewis, describes ‘the Heavens’ filled with planets and stars continuously singing to us. It’s in his classic ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ series. We don’t listen because it’s always there.
It happens unexpectedly which makes it even more enjoyable. Music is THE transcendent language. Anyone or anything that has hearing can understand that language. But here isn’t really a series of books or classes that can teach us how to do so. Jack likes the way the music can catch him by surprise. A bird of impossible clarity singing the sun up. A two bit country band starting up a Bob Wills waltz in some forgotten venue. Jack hit the first three notes with double stops and cannot stop hearing them some half a century later. A worship set that ended with a guitar playing harmonics along with soft brushes on the trap drum. There are so many delightful surprises in music that go far beyond any expectation. A lot of them are totally for that moment, mostly teamwork unrehearsed. A ‘band’ sort of wading through a piece they have worked out. Suddenly Someone else sings and plays and the music swirls like a surprise wind. It catches the top gallant of your joyful sail and heels you over with a shout and speed.
‘Music, it calms the savage breast’ when nothing else can. Sunsets, shooting stars, an eclipse or two can be seen or painted and captured. The rush of breath of the stunning scene usually doesn’t come with a photo of these things. But The immediacy of music, fading as soon as it’s played and Our minds are caught off guard like an unexpected camera flash can do. What a language! Speaking in the tongues of sound indeed!
It is the voice of our Creator whispering those notes. He is worshiped for eternity with singing and instruments often heard in the minds of musicians being gifted suddenly with that music. “If I could write down those notes, A man just reading that score would never grow ill nor die”1.
So, that’s Jack’s fascination and he suspects there are many others that experience the same thing. Satellite radio? Music of the Sphere’s indeed! It’s pretty good. Jack Gator
1. C.S. Lewis “The great divorce”