Sunday, September 14, 2014

Music: The Power to Heal

Music: The Power to Heal
This story kind of hit home because I have had friends that has had problems with addiction to drugs. I actually have had two friends that over dosed on “Horse” (Baldwin). I especially liked how James Baldwin went into great detail when writing this story from beginning to end; how Sonny’s brother returns to different times in his life to tell Sonny’s story in such a deep and emotional setting. I think Baldwin is trying to explain that the heroin addiction that Sonny is dealing with has such a great hold on him just as it does with so many people in society today and how after rehab it still has such a hold on a person that it turns into a lifelong battle.

I think that Baldwin is trying to express that the music is helping Sonny battle his inner demons over the hold that the heroin had on his life. Sonny’s brother stated “All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it.”(Baldwin). I think that this is true for people that really don’t understand the art of music. Personally, I feel that music is very therapeutic when it comes to helping with a person psyche, and also to express someone’s feelings. I believe that Baldwin did an exceptional job painting this picture in his story. Can music have such a hold on someone that it could heal them? What other forms of art could help a person through such a rough period in their life?

5 comments:

  1. I agree with music being used as a symbol of healing. Sonny is literally transforming his pain into his music, which, as I interpreted it, helps him overcome these darknesses which haunt him. I also really enjoyed this story, and the way Baldwin writes. He has such a beautiful way with words.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're absolutely right. I'm sorry to hear about your own losses and the struggles of your friends. I've seen the same sadness as well, for my friends, the music they played, created, and listened to seems to be the only way of understanding anything they were/are feeling. Finding kinship in the songs, many written before you were born, can show you that life doesn't end with sadness, sometimes it does, but sometimes, you can move past it and learn. Hearing the music of Miles Davis, George Harrison, or even Beethoven can appeal to the sadness within you because you feel their pain, but it can also take the loneliness out of it. Because once the music starts or you start playing, it doesn't feel like you're alone anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think music can be a therapy to help us get through all of life's struggles, not just drug addiction. I know for my husband, he used music to help him through his dad's death. I wasn't the same, but I saw for my own eyes his emotions surface when he heard a certain song, I saw him move through his feelings and process what happened in a way that he'd suppressed any other time. Even on deployment I know he has specific songs he'll listen to when everything gets to be too much. Something that will bring him back to a specific time and place where there's a memory that will fill him with either joy or sadness and he's able to move through his feelings because he listens to those songs. One specifically is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" I know it's silly, when he's deployed I can't listen to that song because of our memory tied to it. But he listens to it all the time, imagines the credits rolling to the movie "Meet Joe Black" and us slow dancing in the middle of our living room, holding each other tightly and feeling infinite. The other day we talked on the internet and I found out that both him and I were singing the same song that day, thinking of each other. It was "Your Song" by Elton John. I told him I'd heard it on the radio and he said he was singing it while working out. I felt connected to him when I heard it because it's a song he sings to me when he's home and knowing that at roughly the same time from thousands of miles away on a ship in the middle of the ocean he was also singing to me made me feel connected to him still. People find meaning in songs, whether that meaning was intended or not. They connect pieces of themselves to a song and are able to find a healing pattern that helps them cope with life in general. I know at the children's psych ward that my mother works at they have musical therapy for the kids. They play music to help them through a panic attack or depression. They teach them how to express their feelings in a way that's healthy and most of the children respond really well to musical therapy. They also have art therapies, painting, drawing, and ceramics that the children use in order to express themselves. That's my emotional outlet. I enjoy most media's of art but primarily painting and sculpting. There are many pieces in my house that have had to be put away because they were created to get me through something. One to help me through my physical insecurities is especially disturbing but by painting a self portrait of how I truly saw myself I recognized the differences between my perception and reality. When I really miss my husband he becomes my muse, I paint for him I create things I think he'll love and in doing so I connect with him and have a peace that for one moment while I was immersed in my painting I felt close to him. I don't know what it is about art, but it has a way of touching our souls on a deeper level. Of connecting us in a way that we can't necessarily do through words, and it has a way of healing us and bringing us out of a bad place in our lives to somewhere more peaceful and pleasant.

      Delete
  3. I agree that it is very cool how he said that people don't hear music, because it's true. I believe that music is very powerful and can make you feel like you are on a different planet. It has the power to take away all pain and bring happiness. Music is a true therapy, and can really be beneficial if you have a passion for it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You all are bringing up some really interesting questions here about the relationship between art and suffering (and drugs)! We are going to really dig into these more with the Beat generation next week. I am curious to see what you think of their views on this subject...

    ReplyDelete