Wednesday, 23 May 2007

After three years

I have tentatively started to listen to music again.
It's hard to describe here just how silent my world has been, how cocooned I have become and how my extreme reaction to very overwhelming symptoms in the early stages of my illness has, in all possiblity, outlived or at least exacerbated the symptoms themselves.
I lost two stone in nine days at what could be described as a very sudden onset, and spent much of the next 18 months in very serious trouble with both my mental and physical health.
And even after all this time it's fair to say that all my senses are still affected, but as a former (well okay not former but 'resting') musician and lover of music the way my hearing has been damaged is especially difficult.
Noise sensitivity has been tackled for the duration with earplugs, a noise reducer and, um, general shrinking from noise.
But some noise is healing and I have been encouraged to very carefully seek out healing sounds.
To rediscover Bjork (Vespertine) and Moby (Play) has been especially beautiful.
My son has been playing me some Razorlight. I like it, in small doses. I knew America was his favourite, but had never been able to listen to it all the way through, until today. In the Morning is a good'un too. I remember how we used to leap about to McFly and Busted. Air Hostess. Five Colours...happy, pop-filled days with a bouncing boy of four.
When he was five, I started to notice that music didn't sound so good anymore. The depression hit first.
When he was six, my health was blown apart over a single summer. Two weeks in August. A lingering virus, a violent medication reaction, and that was that.
Years have passed, years of other people's music coming from passing cars, other houses, other rooms. TV and radio for me have been largely no-go zones.
It's time to get reconnected.
I have just blown a very silly amount of money for a woman in financial disarray on some new CDs on Amazon.
Bring on Tori Amos, Kate Bush (there's an awful lot of old vinyl lying in a flat in London somewhere...I have had to replace nearly all of it), and some random purchases which include Mika (?) Rufus Wainwright (??), Jack Johnson (???) and, er, Abba. It was late, I should have been in bed.
I will also be looking in on to see what else I can discover. But for now, it's a bit like the first few dates with an old flame. Awkward, exciting, sometimes 'yes!' sometimes 'no!', exhausting, exhilarating. I will be taking things very, very slowly.
It's all very well ordering oodles of CDs, but my ears will take a while to catch up.
I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful reacquaintance.
I can't live in silence forever.
And my son wants and needs some semblance of his mother back.


S. said...

I found this so moving. I have also had times of needing the coccoon of silence. It can be healing to move into silence. I hope it is even more healing to move (back) into music.

Anonymous said...

Hurray. As for myself, I used to live and breathe music and hoped at one point for a career in light opera. As I grew older, busier, sometimes depressed and noise-sensitive, etc -- I mostly have stopped listening to music nearly entirely. I avoid background music because it's an impediment to concentration and an irritant; there's just not that much time in my day to listen to music in the foreground. I wonder if the drying up of our musical well (which doubtlessly includes a lack of vocal music with lyrics of interest to those of us more to the middle and ends of life) is a more general phenomenon among women than I realized.
-- bridgett

seahorse said...

Hi S. and Bridgett. I've been afraid, phobic even, about letting emotions back in after a lot of trauma. Music is so attached to emotion. Hence no music. Suddenly, just by gradually listening to little bits here and there with the sound ridiculously low, I'm not so afraid. And the emotional bit is kind of necessary, and not as decimating as I feared.

Sally said...

You didn't let on quite how huge your difficulties in life; health and emotions, have been (unless I missed it earlier) and I am in awe that you have pulled through and not just survived, but are beginning to thrive - I know it continues to be hugely difficult, but your creativity is there, in your writing, camera-ing (ha !) and parenting.

Music is such a big indicator for me of where I am in all that is going on ... when my marriage ended I could not sing in choirs for two years; just could not let in the emotions that singing brought along.

Music is now vital, but ebbs and flows along with the emotional life. Sometimes externally it just is necessary calming silence.