“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Aldous Huxley
Our daily lives are filled with the “rhythm of life.” More often than not, it goes unnoticed or becomes white noise. If it were an elaborate, big budget, Hollywood production, it would be inserted, woven and edited as a major component to set the tone of the story. Perhaps, even an Oscar nomination for Best Score. The reality however, is that this is actually the unique score of OUR personal Journey through the doldrum of mere existence, on a path to learn, comprehend and fully grasp the Universal Lessons that we were sent here to learn. Grief and Loss are the main attractions and ones that are way more important than the supporting roles that they have been assigned. They are, in reality, the Stars in a culture that chooses NOT to acknowledge their place in history, along side the other minorities in the "industry." (addictions, depression and other assorted flavors of psychiatric diagnoses.)
No acceptance speech need be readied here.
A certain kind of syncopated rhythm or symbology of sounds, narrates our daily routines. We may be aware, but pay it no mind until it is removed or it changes. Once a new daily routine is established, it then takes some time for our heart, brain and blood pulsating through our veins and capillaries to synch up. We then adjust and settle in to this "new tune" and it once again takes a back seat to our activities.
In my recent move from West Coast back to East Coast, my "soundtrack" was destroyed- "a hammer, taken to my vinyl." I currently do not have a "soundtrack at the moment. It has left me with a sense of free-falling through space. No gravity to ground me. I am however, still tethered to the Mothership. I am slowly making my way back, as I dodge the occasional asteroid and space debris, through the deafening silence.
At the End of Life, we are much more in tune with Nature, as we make our way back to our origins. Our "soundtrack" or "score" accompanies us, yet changes accordingly to reflect this. In the last weeks and days of my caregiver role to my partner William, he would call to me to come watch and listen to the bird outside our bedroom window that came to "sing to him" on a daily basis. He was taken by it's beauty of bold colors, the tall feathered plume that adorned its head and its skills of catching insects by skimming the surface of our pool with its stubby beak. Its simple song obviously touched him on a very deep level. On several occasions as I prepared our evening meal, I would hear him call out to me from our atrium, where he stood staring, gave fixed, drinking in the setting sun through the windows of our Eichler orange front door. "Hurry before you miss it" he would say. His beckon calls are no longer notes in the rhythm of my life. They have been edited out. I have also witnessed this renewed connection to Nature in my Hospice work, especially in Skilled Nursing Facilities. Patients are left to experience the world outside their windows and engage with Nature. "There is a cat coming around to visit me and crying" or "I heard the most beautiful deer with big, sad eyes munching on some leaves right outside my window", they would explain. "God is angry with me. He made a big thunder storm last night."
Long after my partner was gone, (4 years), I sold our home, and downsized. I moved into an apartment just blocks from the house we shared for 11 years. It took awhile for me to become aware of the New rhythm. It would start early, 4 or 5 am. A Chihuahua snoring, a Labrador retriever grooming herself, the shower of the couple next door being turned on at 5:30, the slamming of the glass shower door as they entered. This was followed by the repetition of it once the shower ended, water turned off, knobs squeaking and they exited. A loud muffler of the white pick up truck in our complex's parking lot, an alarming bark of the terrier next door, Fluffy. Cars rushing on the street out front of the complex and an occasional motorcycle coming or going. Muffled conversations, the slamming of a steel security gate. The occasional cry of a stray cat and the day has begun....
There is comfort in these repetitive sounds, this "rhythm of Life," though we may not realize it. That is, until the soundtrack is erased and a new one is composed.