hanging onto every heartbeat

I went to the perfectly lovely St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival yesterday. I saw a tonne of bands, some which I knew and loved and some that I hadn’t really heard much of at all. But it was all excellent.
Music, I have come to understand, plays a rather large part in my spirituality. And I don’t just mean Brooke Fraser, Tim Hughes and Switchfoot, I don’t really listen to much of them. I mean Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Sufjan Stevens, Pixies, Talking Heads and countless other bands. Whether listening to them on my iPod or screaming the lyrics along with thousands of other fans at a gig, it’s here that I feel the most connected with God. I feel more alive. I feel plugged into him. Surrounded by sound and joy and sadness. It’s a pretty amazing and complicated feeling.

This was a pretty big week for me musically.

I started the week by seeing Sufjan Stevens. Who is an actual music genius. There were dances, video imagery, balloons, and a song that lasted for 26 minutes. Everyone on stage seemed so connected to the music. It was if I was witnessing a once in a lifetime gig. He was very genuine. Very about the music. And for a few hours, I felt different, I percieved things differently. It was magical. I loved it.

On Thursday, I woke up to the news that The White Stripes had broken up. It was for a good reason. They stopped because they wanted to end well. Their statement was:

The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong
to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is
that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your
involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.

It was a good reason. But it didn’t stop my heart from breaking. I never got to see them live.

The last of the three rather substantial events was St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. The music festival for Hipsters. The best acts all day were Warpaint, Deerhunter and Cut Copy. We saw Cut Copy last and everybody there danced like CRAZY. We were singing every word and every sound of every song. I loved it. It was a pretty freeing moment where nobody cared what other people thought of them.

And here’s my point. Where does this all fit? Where do I stand? I love music. And I know that some people wont really understand the deep level of love I mean, but that’s fine. Everyone has their loves and passions. People were poking a bit of fun of me when I expressed how upset I was about The White Stripes, and I’ll admit that I’m still feeling fairly reverse culture shocky and I was reading a very sad book about September 11 at the same time so I’m quite prone to being over emotional. It was frustrating though because I felt as if people didn’t think I had any sort of perspective. Which is stupid because, Hello?! I just spent three weeks in a developing country! I know that there is so much hurt and brokeness in the world. I know this stuff. But I genuinely felt upset. So how does these two worlds fit? One seems frivolous to most (what is it contributing really? etc), and the other a lot more serious. A lot more.

It just doesn’t make sense that something that makes me feel so alive and such a part of God could mean nothing in the whole scheme of things.

How does it work?


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