Joy Writing: Most everyone has ‘August Rush’ moments
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Oct 06, 2013 | 707 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some days when most of the newsroom is empty and things seem unusually quiet, noises such as typing, the air conditioning or a chair squeak take on a different tone.

They almost seem to flow together.

I call moments like these my “August Rush” moments. “August Rush” is a film about an orphan who hopes to find his parents by following the music he hears. For those who haven’t seen it, I recommend it.

Early on in the film the main character has a heightened awareness of sound and noise patterns, but no real knowledge of what music is.

A wind chime mesmerizes him.

A busy street becomes his symphony.

He says he can hear music in his head.

Sometimes when I am walking outside on the way to my next meeting the click-clack of my shoes on the pavement causes me to mentally pause and listen to the sounds around me.

Have you ever paused just to hear a bird sing?

The world is full of natural music that is so often drowned out by the crescendo of busyness in our minds.

A soft breeze can be so calming. A bird’s song can be so mysterious if we take the time to listen.

This past weekend I gave myself some time to just “be still.”

There is great value to once in a while finding a rock or a spot beneath a tree to sit and watch what often goes unnoticed.

I learned this value during a particularly stressful time in college. With everything I was thinking about my mind seemed rarely on pause. I remember wishing there was a pause button for life just so I could catch up with it all. While I obviously couldn’t stop everything I was doing and simply get away from it all, I did find some time on the weekends or afternoons to go for walks, wander around new places or simply think about something not school- or work-related.

Brooks became peaceful backgrounds.

The middle of nowhere became a welcome escape.

As does the lead character in “August Rush,” I often carry music in my head. Unlike the film’s namesake, I do not hear yet-unperformed symphonies.

Instead, they are catchy tunes or jingles, worship songs or hymns.

Recently, I have discovered that I actually like classical music. I have long enjoyed Handel’s “Messiah,” but rarely ventured beyond that into the world of Bach or Beethoven. An exception would be “Ode to Joy” in the form of “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,” a song I like for obvious reasons.

On days when the newsroom is not so quiet, classical music in my headphones has helped my concentration.

The rare times I attend a live performance by a local orchestra, I am reminded that classical music is so different in person. No turning up the volume to hear the quiet opening notes. The music is heard at the levels it was intended to be played.

While I enjoy music and singing, I play no musical instruments, unless you count a brief stint on the recorder. I could read basic notes and taught myself to play songs from a children’s songbook, but never graduated to the recorder’s big sister — the clarinet.

When I was younger I wanted to learn the flute or violin. However, the desire was never strong enough to materialize into lessons.

Growing up, my dad was the drummer in my church. He was teaching one of the boys in the church how to play and it made me want to learn, too.

“Let’s see how this student does first,” was my dad’s reply. He did, however, buy me a toy tambourine and construct a drum set for me (complete with drum pedal) from a box, a popcorn tin lid for a cymbal, a wood block and rubber bands.

Not sure what happened to that set, or my desire to play the drums. I guess they both faded with age, replaced by other goals I found more obtainable. Yet, I will admit to tapping my foot to merely a tune in my head from time to time.

While styles and tastes might change, enjoyment of music doesn’t.