My friend and I were discussing the other day, how we often don't just listen to music on its own anymore.
It's always: listen to music while driving, while running, while cleaning, while sleeping, while reading, while working, while studying, while socialising. While, while, while, never just listening.
I don't think there's anything awfully wrong with this. But, I do wonder if we are missing out by disallowing ourselves to, at least sometimes, mindfully observe and absorb music: let it take us places, to emotions unexplored, to the mind's hidden world.
In past times, listening to music used to be such a novelty: people gathered around the record player soaking up sounds, each note an experience all its own. Unfortunately now, I think music's power has been diluted by all our "whiles". Although it does make all my "whiles" worthwhile, I don't want to let my music experience be reduced to just this.
This is why I have decided to start a wee challenge for myself.
I am going to listen to one song fully through, eyes closed, body still, mind open, once each day for a month.
I have tried to do this before, and, to my surprise, it was very hard. We've become so proficient at multitasking: experts at thin focus on all things possible, but great novices at deep focus on just one thing. I am determined to develop my deep focus, and I am going to start here.
So, if you're reading this, I'd love it if you would like to join me! I am going to note down each day which song I listened to and a small reflection on the experience. If you're still around in a month's time you may even get a glimpse into these reflections.
Let's start on the 15th of February.
Image - Google
A snap of Italian actress Elsa Martinelli in August 1955. Google Images has always got my back. I found it here, and thought it was a nice portrayal of both the gathering power of music, and the value of just listening as the central activity.