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Writer Without a Clause: Harmony, Essay #2

Updated on December 9, 2018
cam8510 profile image

Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.

Peace and Conflict in Nature


What is Writer Without a Clause?

Writer Without a Clause is me in front of my laptop with nothing on my mind about which to write. I just started writing. The following article is how my thoughts flowed as I wrote. I won't say that I did not go back and do any editing, but it was minimal, I promise. I hope you enjoy the result of this free write, the second in my collection of essays called, Writer Without a Clause.

Harmony: An Essay

It’s a big world out there. And I’m the kind of guy that wants to fix everything. Or at the very least, point out all the wrongs. People hurt people. Nature hurts people. Animals hurt people. People hurt nature, other people, and animals. That pretty much sums up history, doesn’t it?

But People also help people. Nature helps people. Animals help people. What more is there in life but these interactions, both positive and negative? This is nature operating in the fashion it has learned over time.

And we each play our part the best we can. We want to make a positive contribution to our world and history. But how can we, as individuals, contribute to a positive world? How can we make a difference?


Music is a good teacher. According to my less than a basic understanding of music, there are three acoustical qualities that might represent how we interact in society. Forgive me if I misuse some musical terms or even create my own. I think you will get my message in any case.

A single note can be any key on the keyboard. When played alone, it sounds fine, every time, except for the feeling of loneliness that accompanies it.

Combinations of these notes that blend are harmonious and consonant. Notes that clash are cacophonous and dissonant. Complex music is made of either consonance or dissonance, harmony or cacophony.

Life is a work of art just as is a piece of music. Too often, we live as if our lives are science experiments which will either produce the intended results or fail. Life doesn’t work that way. Sure, our biological bodies certainly do, but the core of a man is his essence which is not subject to the laws of science or natural law.

Living is like making music. We can be a single note, banging away monotonously day and night. This is the hermit who lives in a shack far away from any village or city. His single note, possibly a C or a D, fills the place with at least that simplest form of music, for the human spirit is incapable of producing no music at all.

We can also produce the music of dissonance. Rather than explaining it, let’s listen to the sounds of consonance and dissonance in the following brief video.

Consonance and Dissonance

Each person plays a melody of one note, a blend of clashing notes, or the pleasant meld of blending notes.

An orchestra, in this regard, is any of the various social environments we move into and out of throughout our days. Every person present in that place is adding their music to the composition being created in real time.

You could be riding the subway and the orchestra would be playing. It plays at church, school, and work. It plays in the waiting room of the doctor’s office and in line at the grocery store.

I was in a convenience store recently. Dissonance reigned as three people screamed obscenities at each other. The cashier had a worried look on his face as he continued with his work. I felt that the situation had the potential of turning violent. The orchestra screeched out its clashing notes. I hung around for the sake of the cashier hoping my own melody would help calm the atmosphere. The three people involved glanced at me several times as I made my way through the store. They were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their own behavior.

Now That's Harmony

Are we able to tune our instruments? Can we change the music that emanates from us? If a person realizes they spread disharmony, cacophony wherever they go, is there hope for them to choose a new quality of music?

My uncle and his son owned and operated their farm as I was growing up. I would go help them bale hay and clean the weeds out of bean fields. I also helped them build a barn for their pigs. Father and son screamed at each other. It’s just how they communicated. The barn got built, but the music wasn’t worthy of an audience of the pigs that would live in it.

Our harmonies don't have to sound the same. You might have a rock band personality. Another person is a string quartet or a one-man vaudeville band. What matters is that wherever we go, we do our part to bring beauty to the orchestras we join every day.

We can simply play our music as we live. We don’t have to silence the dissonance. Just play your own, sweet harmony wherever you go. Let others hear it, feel it, be soothed by it. This is a way of changing the world that is unique and authentic. It is you.

Delightful, A One Man Band in Rijeka, Croatia

© 2018 Chris Mills


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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      My favourite song is 'Bohemian Rhapsody' that starts with a solo, moves into opera and then into Rock ballad before moving back the same way and eventually an instrumental.

      I think our lives are like that, alternating between the types of'music'

      Really enjoyed this 'free write'


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      We all have our own music to live by and I love the way you've taken this through your thought process. I know what you mean; some people create bad 'vibes' and we long to calm the situation. It takes some skill to harmonise with some people, others are easy!

      Happy Christmas, Chris! May yours be an harmonious one.


    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Haha. You wrote spontaneously and so did I. I do not use alcohol Bro. What is the name for spontaneous pieces? Free verse will do.

      Actually, I began to like the piece from which I wrote something called Life's Struggle's. So this is the second time you have inspired me to write a poem.

      Remember El Mar? I'm impressed by your Greek.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Sean, thank you for your gracious words. I'd love to practice my meager understanding of 2000 year old Greek by checking out your blog. I'll see if I can locate it. Thank you for sharing here.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Suhail, I am honored by your presence and the words you have shared. Thank you.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Doris, your words about jazz music bring to mind a concert in1973 and Carnegie Hall. The Philharmonic played some beautiful classical pieces before Steve Reich introduced his original piece called "Four Organs." There were indeed four organs at the front of the orchestra. The audience was treated with twenty-one minutes of complete bedlam, of noise that had no relation to music as anyone had known it. The audience reacted with shouts to stop the nonsense, boos, and even polite applause to coax the orchestra into stopping. Finally, an elderly woman walked to the front of the auditorium and began banging the stage with the heel of her shoe which she had removed from her foot for just that reason. Noise, in the name of art, does not work well.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      There is a mental picture of my friend and spiritual educator that I have not seen before...On a Caribbean beach with tequila? I'd love to join you, just keep the tequila away from me.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Dora, That part you quoted should emphasize that we do play our music in every situation we enter, whether or not we realize it. It's just a fact. If it is genuine, it will be powerful.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Shauna, I wish I had mentioned it in the article, but my cousin and uncle both experienced intense transformations in how they related to each other and to anyone around them. Really, this was the whole point of bringing them into the article. I wanted to emphasize that we can change.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Eric, I appreciate you picking up on that line. I'd probably word it slightly differently in a rewrite but that goes against my idea for this article.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Liz, you could follow my train of thought? You should be worried. Thanks for visiting.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Bill, You're right. Writers have to do it all. That's another hub just waiting to be written.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 years ago from Greece, Almyros

      Absolutely amazing, my dear brother! One of the best parables I've ever read about our purpose in this world! And the most significant, for me, is that this text is an expression of your Divine Core because you have let yourself free without a clause, to reveal our universal Truth. I am so proud of you! I thank you so much for your voice!

      God Bless you!


      PS: I have written something similar in Greek, on my blog, but here, written by you, is much more possible to be read by many people as you have a bigger audience. I wish many to read it.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      These are interesting thoughts and comparisons, Chris. I loved the way you have written this hub. Very creative indeed!



    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Interesting take and some great comparisons here, Chris. I can't help but equate dissonance with freestyle jazz. As a kid, my uncle had a pack of fox hounds on the farm, and sometimes they'd all get to barking at once, joining in with their own timing and styles. The first time I ever really listened to jazz, I thought of those hounds. You were brave to stick around in that store with three screaming dissonant people.

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Poojya Sri Mota wrote something called 'Life's Struggle's.', an incredibly beautiful small book.

      You remind me of this and yes, we are like the Libran Pendulum, swinging up and down and me? Mine is a hammock on the beach in the Caribbean sunshine with a tequila in my hand and the palm breeze whistling with the waves.

      Harmonies. How cool! I am an organ and a flute with a host of different instruments trying to blend in this dance of Vegas, throwing my dice one more time with the hope that I would win.

      An inspiring Hub and one worth pondering as it did for me, albeit spontaneously as your good self wrote. Peace, Bro.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is a beautiful take away for me: "What matters is that wherever we go, we do our part to bring beauty to the orchestras we join every day." Thanks for sharing this profound "clause."

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Interesting thoughts, Chris. Yes, we do each make our own music. I would imagine the music that emanates from us is directly related to the color of our auras. And, yes, we can change the music. It's all up to each individual to choose positivism and beauty or negativity and dissension.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I do a double take on many of your babies. Today I got this; "but the core of a man is his essence which is not subject to the laws of science or natural law."

      So righteous.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 years ago from UK

      I enjoy following your train of thought through the article. The ideas work well together.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's the perfect metaphor for writers....a one man band! :) Carry on my friend.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      No Thang, that's a good one. Just get her done. I needed some harmony for this piece and Uptown Funk delivered.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      I enjoy writing them, John. I see things I'd add or change, but then it wouldn't the pure free write that I want. Yes, we play different music and dance to a different drummer, but it all blends nicely.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Watchya doing with my Uptown funk? That is my crease in my pants of life! I do the rap and my son does the harmony in capella. I do some moon walk and he does this crazy thing like a break dance.

      So far apart but the same checkout line.

      I did the building of a pig cover in a place called Cu Chi. They loved me because my uncle would proclaim No Thang. meaning no need for a ladder. I use it today to mean to get her done and stop whining about the tools.

      Chris you write just for me. Sorry about the other folks.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed this Chris. A very interesting take. Yes, we all make our own music wherever we go. Many of us dance to a different beat but that's ok too. I like these off-the-cuff unplanned writes.


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