• Jay Jacobson

Music is Life, with Words from Plato and Joni Mitchell

Life is a lot of work! Especially for those of us who have lives in which we reflect on ourselves and our lives. As Plato said, “The life which s not examined is not worth living”. But I must say that at times I really do believe that ignorance IS bliss! One you start examining your life, you see many things – wonderful AND painful. One thing I am learning about myself right now is how much being creative keeps me healthy and happy. As I’ve mentioned in the past few blogs, I’ve been pretty ill, and although I’m pretty much better, my singing voice still hasn’t returned completely. It is definitely coming back, but one of the two muscle groups which work the vocal chords is still a bit swollen – which makes it hard (if not impossible) to sing sweetly and hit the high notes. It is just a matter of waiting at this point. The great news is that it is getting better each week!

While I am impatiently waiting for my voice to return, I am realizing that singing and creating music has been an enormous outlet for my emotions. I had no idea just how much life it brought me. Makes me think of the Joni Mitchell lyric, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you dont know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. I’m seeing how important singing and creating music is for me. It may sound stupid, but I didn’t see the depth of this before. I always knew I loved music, and turned to music many times in my life for joy and comfort, but I never saw how much it kept me balanced, happy and healthy. So much of life is hard work, overcoming fears and difficulties. Music has been my buffer. My respite from the toil of life. Actually giving me strength to contend with the rest of life. It is great for me to see this. Now that I see how necessary a part of my existence music is, I know I must do everything I can to keep it at the forefront of my life. It will keep me sane, healthy and energized. For whatever reasons, I think I have a hidden perception that (unless you are Miles Davis or Madonna) music is not a “real”, respectable career (like being a doctor or a businessman of some sort). In this country, the arts have always taken a back seat to other endeavors, and the life of an artist is not an easy one. There is very little support for an “unknown” artist. But I see first hand from the past two months, how much life the arts (singing and music in particular for me) bring – to me and to others. They keep us sane and alive and hopeful and strong. And I’m very lucky that at this time in my life I’m able to follow my calling and make music, and record CDs and so on. If I have ever had any doubts before that I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, those thoughts are now erased! I can’t wait to sing with my whole soul and being when my voice comes back!

I’m writing this entry really for myself. To remind myself (incase at some point I slip back into my previous state of mind!) how important creating music is to my life. It is not just a feel good thing to do, or following some unknown calling from deep within, but it is life giving and essential to my existence.

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