A Gift

giftI was waiting for a friend in Border’s a few years ago, back when there was a Borders instead of a Sprouts Market (I definitely prefer music and books to organic veggies).  I was doing what I often did at Borders, listening to new recordings at the listening stations in the music section.  I’d just found the Ahn Trio’s album, Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac and was listening to Dies Irie, enraptured.


My friend arrived and I handed him the headphones. Listen to this, I said. It’s incredibly beautiful. He listened for perhaps fifteen seconds and handed me back the headphones, proceeding to tell me what he wanted to talk about. It’s hard to describe how that felt, perhaps as if I’d offered someone a gift from my heart and they didn’t even bother to open it. It took considerable effort for me to give my attention my friend’s issues even though that’s what friends are supposed to do.

I used to think that those who didn’t appreciate beautiful music just weren’t trying. I used to think that if you didn’t like classical music or jazz it was because you’d never bothered to sit down and try. But I’ve spent forty-six years with a woman who likes some music, mostly music with words and mostly what I’d call popular music or country but I’ve never heard her say, I love that song. She will tolerate classical music if it’s not too loud and prefers not to tolerate jazz. Seventy years has brought me friends who are regular readers of my blog … except when I write about music. I just don’t get music, they tell me. I can’t conceive of that. My son will listen to most any kind of music … sometimes I think he has my ear … but then he makes fun of my Peter White recordings and puts on Eminem. Loud.  Really.  As hard as its is for me to admit, it’s just a matter of taste.  But I see my love of music as A Gift and I treasure friends whose eyes sparkle when they talk about their favorite song or artist. And who know what mean when I talk about how, say, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings touches me.

I like to believe that we all have access to A Gift, something that touches our souls and makes us know life is more than what we do. It might be music, the written word … or just the light in our grandchildren’s eyes.  For some, I guess, it’s religion.  I have a friend who lights up when he talks about physics and when he does, I know how others feel when I talk about music. I do my best to sound interested.  I suspect that even if we’re born with A Gift, it needs to be nurtured. I was lucky … my Mom’s Gift was music and she shared it with me, along with her love of art and nature.  What to you think?  Do you think we all get A Gift?  What’s yours?

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One Comment on “A Gift”

  1. sharon towns Says:

    song of the day is “the world is a gehtto”. Good Post!


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