Specifically, right now, the music that's scrolling through my little hand-me-down iPod. My iPod is not fancy ~ it's an aging Nano that one of my kids upgraded from ~ but when I'm standing in front of a sink (and countertop and baker's bench and stove) full of dishes at the end of a long day and the last thing I feel like doing is getting busy with the sponge, a little music makes all the difference.
I could wax rhapsodic about the healing/soothing/brain-enhancing powers of music, but that's been done before and by far more delicate wits than that possessed by yours truly.
Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle called music "the speech of angels." Writer Leo Tolstoy called it "the shorthand of emotion." And French poet Alphonse de Lamartine terms music, "the literature of the heart." Lovely and all true. Music is every one of these things and more.
There's no passion that music cannot raise and quell (John Dryden). It has the power to express what cannot be said and yet what is impossible not to say (Victor Hugo). It peoples undesired solitude (Robert Browning) and is the "wine that fills the cup of silence" (Robert Fripp).
And as beautiful as these charming, apt words are, when I'm up to my elbows in dirty pots or trying to survive another mile on the elliptical machine, it's a quote by American labor leader William Green that best describes my sentiments: "Music is a friend of labor for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker."
I'm grateful for music, and for music makers. For Jimi Hendrix and Nina Simone, for Johnny Cash, Muse, Metallica, and Skillet. For old-time hymns and Flamenco guitar, 70s disco and 80s hair metal, and classic rock. Thanks for keeping me company, for refreshing my nerves and spirit, and for lightening my tasks. For those about to rock ~ and for those who have kept us supplied with rock all along ~ I salute you.
What are you thankful for?