In speaking to a brilliant friend of mine the other day, I couldn’t help but hear the cadence, the rhythm, the melody of his emotion bleed into every lyric of his latest struggle. Beyond the layer of pain he confessed over frustration with his own shoddy work performance, came a measure of what sounded, felt like music from his heart representing how his soul must’ve filtered his life experience. The raw and varied emotion that came forth as he spoke his truth, the beat of his heart, the depth of his mellifluous understanding; it was beautiful.
Listening to him struggle through where he was in his occupation, versus where he wanted to go, made me realize that we humans are all instruments for the air of emotion to pass through. When we resist the positive or negative emotion provoked by an incident in our lives—when we deny our feelings and clench against the passing of it—the air gets trapped and distorts our sound. Each sound we emit has the potential to play the gorgeous, dynamic music of the emotional spectrum; the melody of humanity. But when the air of emotion gets trapped, the captured winds of feeling distort the instrument of our bodies. It can make our physicality go pear-shaped where we resist, causing a sharp or flat note that gives us an alarm to our resistance, as well as the opportunity to tune ourselves into dealing with the feelings that are trying to pass through. When we are scared to acknowledge how we truly feel, that which comes out of our voice, our thoughts, our actions, cannot help but be off key. And the more air of emotion we trap without release, the more tone deaf we can sound. It’s imperative to let our whole body breathe; to allow our mind, body, spirit to breathe as one; to allow the air of our emotion to open up and speak a solo of its own beautiful melody.
When we practice acknowledging how we feel the moment emotions arise, when we understand that feelings are temporary guests passing through the instrument of our body, we can become much more efficient, proficient, and facile with our musical range. We have been gifted an acute, unique ability to scale the full range of human emotion; the full alphabet of musical notes. It is why we are here—to enhance our dexterity at what life blows at us—from gentle breezes to gale-force winds. Hearing my dear friend process out loud, I couldn’t help but think that we all came to this earthly realm in order to understand the symphony of our experience, and represent our own spirit through the instrument of our expression; to add to the dynamic orchestra of souls surrounding us.
In order to do that harmoniously, we must foster an intimate and fundamental understanding of how the instrument of our physicality processes the winds of emotion, the force of circumstance, the sprint or marathon of each incident. We must honor how the air causes vibration—slow or fast—and the specific sound each note of vibration makes. We must revere the fact that it takes profound acceptance, an efficient relationship between wind and instrument—between each of us and how we feel—to make deep, resonant sound. It takes a myriad of vibrations, a dynamic scale of emotional notes to create an interesting composition all together.
We are magnificent multifaceted beings equipped with the potential for both amazing solos and essential contributions to the ensemble.
After our conversation, my heart gave my friend a standing ovation for his honesty, his authenticity, begging for the encore of him to keep talking. Practicing our instrument makes proficiency in what we play. If we keep practicing our ability to accept the vibration of life, we can turn the whisper or tornado of emotion into a brilliant all-encompassing masterpiece of who we were meant to be.
For, every single one of us is a master musician. So, play on...
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]