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A musical Christmas

Since my eye has been doing weird things lately, and, as yet, we don't have a tree or Christmas lights up, I haven't been able to enjoy the beauty of colorful lights like I usually do each year. But I've been taking refuge in music, and enjoying it fully.

The month started out with my mother and I going to
Peder Eide's
concert. The next day, it was off to a
see Michael W. Smith.
Both concerts were wonderful, and made scriptures come alive with sounds and stories.

I realized this year that my taste and appreciation for music at Christmas has changed. The textures I appreciate are more varied. I listen for words, textures, emotions, rhythms and things one can't even put a finger on. I realized that the music I listened to had interesting balances between light and darkness, sadness and joy, excitement and apprehention. It matches my moods basically.

I'm appreciating Christmas differently this year. I'm starting to make peace and accept things, even the darkness I sometimes feel. I realize that there could not have been a first Christmas without the darkness.

My music reflects that. The contrast between high and low, fast and slow, multi-melody and simple tune. Now that I appreciate these things, I realize that that communicates more to me than the lights ever could.

The Christmas lights are wonderful, and bring brightness to an otherwise gloomy world. But with the amount of vision I have, I could only focus on one light, or a small cluster of lights at a time. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I can get a vague impression of the tree clad in lights, as long as the room lights are off and there's no light coming in the window. That's as close as I get to observing the interplay between light and shadow as art-form. Usually light and shadow tell me when I might run into something (the wall is dark, for example). (Note: That theory goes out the window when there's a pop machine in my path. Just ask the side of my leg and most of my face...)

I'm glad I had the class on listening to music, and that circumstances have forced me to look at music for my holiday aesthetic appreciation. I would've missed that interplay, and the chance to see how others have resolved these seeminly- conflicting ideas through art. But, thankfully, my appreciation has grown. I hope that you've had some time to appreciate the joys of these times. It could be music, lights, painting, sculpture, drama or even food. Just don't let the chance slip by. I'd really love to hear about your experiences, and what you've appreciated this year, or even in years past.

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