177. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

All deep things are song.
It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song;
as if all the rest were wrappages and hulls!
~Thomas Carlyle

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I loved teaching John Steinbeck’s novella, THE PEARL.  The main character, Kino, lives intimately connected, physically and spiritually, to the natural world, even more so than I do.  All through the story as he faces his instincts or any particularly powerful thing, he hears a song in his head, and these songs match whatever he’s feeling at the moment.  For example, when he experiences happiness with his wife and child, he hears the Song of the Family.  Or when the scorpion stings his child, he hears the Song of Evil.  These songs are familiar, ancient ones handed down from generation to generation.   Like his people and his ancestors Kino believes the songs give actual form to what he feels inside himself.  As Carlyle put it, he perceives that “all deep things are song.”  I realize not everyone grew up with the same cultural experiences that Kino had, but many of us do hum or sing songs we heard in childhood or familiar tunes we’ve listened to on the radio or TV over the years.  My experience has been that there is a very comforting element in the songs I hear in my head and/or sing, and in some way they do express “the very central essence” of who I am.

The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy.  ~Psalm 65:8  ✝

6 thoughts on “177. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

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