Writer Without a Clause: Harmony, Essay #2
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