The Breath of a Church Organ

Today I conducted an interview from inside a church organ. The man who restored the 130+ year old organ with his father explained how the air flowed through the reservoir and into the pipes. We sat in a space below and behind these pipes, hidden from view, studying the enormous inner workings of the beautiful instrument. His father sat at the console, pressed the keys, and I was instantly surrounded by music.

Inside the womb of the organ, I could see the whole thing breathe as it created the sound that filled the church. The reservoir was like a lung, sucking in pressurized air and deflating as it exhaled into the pipes. The pipes—over a thousand of them—were like long metallic necks, stretching up like herons.

I could have stayed there forever. I probably would have gone deaf eventually, but honestly, I could have stayed there forever. I wrote notes leaning on the reservoir, and it was like my notebook was floating. The wall behind me vibrated with the lower pipes. The chimes, dangling from the opposite wall, sang along with the mingling chords. I could see it all happening. I could hear it all happening. It was alive, and so was I.

On the way home, singing to the radio, I thought about how my body was like an organ. I had lungs pushing air out my throat, making my vocal chords vibrate and sing. An organ is like a part of the body. Perhaps that’s why it’s called an “organ.”

The Magic of Music

How strange is music? I love music, but it is strange. We fill the air in our rooms and cars with sound we find pleasing, punctuated with words we memorize and smile to. Movies are boring without music, as are parties. It makes everything better. There are very few things that are made worse with music.

I go through phases of how much I listen to music. Moving to the city hinders my music amount, since I don’t have a car radio to listen to. Without a car, I don’t listen to the radio, and without a radio music becomes somewhat of an effort to enjoy. I have to own the song or find it online, choose it, play it, and when it’s over choose another. The surprise is gone, the joy, the ease. So I end up not listening to it as much–not to mention the voice in my head telling me I could be doing something more important than chilling out, listening to music.

But someday, like today, I wake up and feel a hole in my heart and realize I might just need some music to fill it. Music, I feel, is one of the most human things we have. It’s a healing ritual, a celebration, a necessary part of human life. It’s a part of my soul, and my body.

So I put on some music, and then buy some music, and then play some music, and then write some music, and I feel much happier. I feel connected, even though I’m alone in my room. I feel happy, even though nothing about my situation has changed. It’s something I can do privately while feeding my introversion but can also share with friends. It’s something that gives me chills and makes me warm all at once.

My cousin is four years old. I see him dancing, singing, memorizing lyrics, and I know he’s going to be a fantastic little musician one day.

Scarves, Sweatshirts, and Loose-fitting Clothing

It is hot. Like, really hot. Like, “Can we please have class inside?” hot.

However, I am in the strange position of wearing scarves, sweatshirts, and loose-fitting clothing a grand majority of the time.

I recently made a post about wearing more professional clothing, which part of this follows. Tiny shorts, mini skirts, and tank tops are not even close to being professional, so the more modest clothing is okay. But, when I’m trudging to class, where some people are in pajamas and flip flops, there’s no need to dress like I’m doing something actually important.

Introverted doesn’t always mean insecure, and they may not even be related, but I am definitely both. These two things are huge driving forces to keep me tucked up in my room all the time–the exhaustion from too much social interaction, and the idea that I would be too awkward, too uncomfortable, too ugly while I’m there.

So, the clothing? With form-fitting clothes I’m always sucking in my tummy, making sure I’m not standing weird. I’d rather wear clothes that blur the outline of my body and spend my worrying energy on how my face and hair looks, or how my voice sounds.

Naturally, I’d rather not worry about anything at all, but the sad reality is that it’s hard to do that.

So I suffer in the heat to keep my head held a little higher.