Music stirs the sediments of my mind.
It is sometimes the randomness I need interjected into my thoughts. On my drives to work, unless I am already thinking of how to solve a specific issue, or thinking of something creative, and I want my thoughts to have quiet space to percolate, I often turn on music. For one thing, I love to sing.
In the afternoons, on the way home from work, sometimes I want music to push out the echoes and the tangle of assorted mischief in my head (those leftover bits of all the things I worked on during the day). Sometimes I still want to sing. And sometimes, I just want quiet.
If my thoughts seem to be sorting themselves out, I usually prefer quiet. Recently I realized that if I don’t want quiet, it’s either to share joy, to learn the words to a new song I can sing (I do after all have a playlist for just that), or to stir up something. That last one brought a new insight with it.
I am often listening to music when I come up with my most creative writing ideas, or when I recall a memory that inspires me to write something about that as well. A new blog post, a book or story idea, or even just a small insight that I want to share, in as little as a tweet, or in something that I want to tell my wife or a particular friend.
Music stirs emotions as well as thoughts, and I think it’s too easy, especially in the grind of a workday, to have those pile up in a sedimentary layer that weighs everything else down. And if you leave it that way for too long, perhaps it really does crystallize and harden into something like rock.
Rocks are not easily stirred like water, dust, and dirt can be. Even sand moves. A lot. Rock just sits there and resists, perhaps until it breaks, and when it ruptures, sometimes the released pressure can be enormous and even destructive.
Whatever your creative pursuits might be, whatever gets your juices flowing in a beneficial way that is healthy for you and for everyone around you, embrace it! At least from time to time.
The mind is a rich field of ideas, inventions, concepts, artistry, and all manner of uplifting things. Don’t let yours calcify.
Even darkness has its place in the spectrum of human emotions, and it should be aired out, too, gently and with plenty of perspective. Read this again if you need some tools to explore it more carefully.
Find whatever moves you and stir your thoughts. It’s as healthy for you as it is for the soil in the Earth and the waters of the ocean. Seriously!
Some of the richest life on Earth surrounds coral reefs, and coral itself thrives where healthy currents run. Whether you move like a shark or sit like a coral, expose yourself to the currents of new ideas. Even if you have to stir them up yourself.