by Kassandra Lamb
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~ Berthold Auerbach
I finally got around to uploading a post to my own website. It’s one I wrote last year for Catie Rhodes’ Author Celebrity Playlist series on her blog. But instead of doing my own playlist, I did one for my main character, Kate Huntington.
It includes the songs that were meaningful to Kate at various turning points in her life. (If you’re a Kate Huntington fan, check it out; it gives a lot of her back story.)
Posting that playlist got me thinking about music, and how so often it can speak to us in ways that mere words alone cannot. Somehow combining those words with a beautiful melody makes the message so much more powerful.
My favorite song of all time is Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Teach Your Children. I first heard it in 1970, the year I graduated from high school. It spoke to me then, but it’s appeal has only increased through the years. I can now relate to the song from both the perspective of a grown child and that of a parent of a grown child.
Listen carefully to the lyrics:
“And feed them on your dreams, the one they picked…”
There is one dream that has survived for three generations in my family: to be a writer.
My mother was a public relations specialist for a college. She used words all the time in her job, writing press releases and college catalogs. But it had always been her dream to be a “real” writer. The closest she came were a couple rough drafts of children’s books and some travel articles she wrote in her retirement for a seniors’ magazine.
I spent the majority of my working life as a psychotherapist. It was a very satisfying career and I have no regrets. I wrote professional articles through the years. But the demands of my job and family left me little time or energy for creative writing. My second career was that of college professor. Again I found an outlet for my writing lust as I drafted lecture notes and developed tests, but still there never seemed to be much time left over.
Finally, at age 59, the novel that I’d started in my mid-forties came to fruition and was published (sadly, six years after my mother’s death). Now I have several published works to my name. I have been well fed by my mother’s dream, the one I picked.
My son has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a masters in divinity. His full-time job is that of Episcopal priest. Like I did before him, he can satisfy some of his desire for writing through his profession as he drafts his weekly sermons. But he also carves out what little time he can for writing fiction–fantasy novels with a strong spiritual component. I have no doubt that he will be published, hopefully some day soon.
My mother is dancing in heaven. We have fed her with our dreams, the one she picked.
And then there is the chorus:
Don’t you ever ask them why; if they told you, you would cry.
Just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.
I get a lump in my throat every time I read or hear those lyrics. I have learned through the years that there are things we may never understand about other generations, the ones that came before us nor the ones that follow us.
Don’t you ever ask them why; just know they love you!
What song speaks to your soul? Do you share a dream with other generations of your family?
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