The recession-time job market is slim and each day some more of us are finding that we are without a job. Some of us have been forced to close down a business and our pension plans have been decimated. Mortgage payments still come due as does taxes, food and of course medical bills. Increasingly, there is an attack on insurance benefits as well as medicare and medicaid benefits. For many of us the situation is becoming desperate.
No matter how you slice it the budget numbers just don’t add up. Then add to our tension, prostate cancer and its treatments and side effects.
I recently read a story about a man who had lost his business and was only able to replace it with a minimum wage position. He struggled to feed his family and find a way to make things add up. He claimed that when times seemed the very worse he would sing. Yes, he would sing. “Sometimes it is so bad, you just have to sing to God.”
He explained that music is an odd invention which always employs force. Think about it. The drum is a skin stretched to its tightest which you then pound away at with the drumsticks. The guitar strings are pulled taut, which you then pick or strum at, exerting pressure on the right string. The piano has strings that are stretched and then hit. The flute, the clarinet, the oboe use wind pushed strongly through them into a constrained narrow space until it is allowed to escaped through an opening.
All instruments and music use pressure and tension. As soon as you take away any tension, your instrument won’t work. It needs pressure.
Only people strong enough to withstand tension become the instruments of song in the world. Our world is finely tuned, even if we do not understand it. So, this moment of pressure that we are experiencing must have been orchestrated for a response, so we must find a way to meet every challenge and continue on with our song. We must find a way to withstand the tension and pressure, otherwise, like the guitar string that snaps under tension, our music and song will cease to be heard in the world.
Sometimes life is so hard, you just have to find a way to continue to sing and make your personal music.
Joel T Nowak, MA, MSW