I’ve been loving the chance to melt into human stories again. And music. My goodness, how it feels to connect to that deeper place within and melt into the sweet symphony of another.
These past few months have seen me dipping in and out of the great creative loves of my life: writing and music. I can’t remember a time in my life when I was without them, and I’m so terribly glad for that. A soul merging with life itself. Surely that’s what creativity and self-expression are—at least, that is what they are to me.
I’m wondering why my soul has drawn me back to music so strongly at this time in my life. Why it’s chosen to show me the true effects music has on my body. Why it’s chosen to speak to me through the musical stories I tell and hear.
This is just a quick pop in to let you guys know I’m starting a new ‘thing’ on Instagram/IGTV, running along the same lines as the book chats I was doing a few weeks ago, but less boring. (Ha ha ha- no need to bring your pillows this time. ☺️)
This time it’s a little less geared towards writers, and a little more in line with what actual humans can relate to.
Because this time I’m talking about music!
I’ve uploaded the first video already for those of you who are interested. You can find it in the IGTV tab on my Instagram page. _brookecutler_.
Other than that, it’s business as usual here in this very bloggy land of ours.
Or music has been melting into me, it’s really hard to say what’s happening exactly.
It’s the most beautiful feeling, though, the way music occasionally moves through me like the wind. I say occasionally because the feeling of rushing lightness isn’t always there when I listen to music.
And my goodness it was all the lovely things.
I’ve needed a bit of lightness in the face of all the dark of late, and I sure did find that shine today.
I’d like to tell you a story about that, actually. How my piano came to be my ultimate happy place (and healing tool, you might say.)
It’s in my soul, I think. Music. It’s the place I go to escape the world when it gets too noisy, and it’s absolutely the place I go when I need to re-make sense of the world around me.
I suppose you might say I had quite an explosive childhood— and when I say explosive, of course I’m being a bit dramatic (lol). All I mean by ‘explosive’ is that I was a highly sensitive child, and although the world was all sorts of fun and wonderful, my sensitivity sometimes got to me. When the teacher shouted at the kid in the next seat: it wasn’t the kid that felt the brunt of that rage. It was me. I felt it all.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, I needed an outlet, a way to remove the yuck of a world that somehow seemed so much bigger than me. I needed a night light. A safety blanket to catch the waves of emotion, especially the ones that didn’t belong to me.
I still remember asking Mum: ‘Please. Can I have piano lessons?’ to which the reply always came, ‘Brooke. We don’t have a piano.’ Of course, I knew that. But my heart felt like it was being called to. It felt like I just needed to play. I don’t really have the words to explain the pull of such a deep need, but it was there and it never went away until that one special day. My fourteenth birthday, I think. The day I got my first keyboard.
Well. I was beside myself. Here I was, surrounded by lashings of colourful paper, staring at the one thing I intuitively knew I needed. I quickly taught myself to play, which was really just me tinkering away until what I was playing became something that resembled a tune. Soon I was writing songs. When I wrote, I said all the things my heart needed to say, I just let it all go. Whatever wanted to come out. I let it be.
And it felt good. It felt like a wooshing tunnel of wind rushing through me, taking with it all the angry, the sad, the tension. When I played— when I wrote— a new part of me came to life. The right part of me.
The true part of me.
It’s not surprising to me, when I look back, that most of my songs were written when I was in my teenage years, a time of hormones and boys and tears. (Oh, gosh. All the tears.) Those years were a time of absolute truth. A time of boundless dreams, but also a time where the world really could have ended if I happened to be ‘spoken’ to by a teacher that really didn’t know that I was a crier.
When those things made my world explode: I escaped. Into my music, into the wave of beautiful that sang into my bones. And that’s just all sorts of magic to me. That still is all sorts of magic.
My first love. My piano.
Okay. 🙂 Well, that’s enough sop for day two, I suppose. I’ll see you tomorrow, then.
We are like two dots on a musical theatre map of the world. And every time I fall into a moment where it’s just him and me, and all the musical love hearts…I just can’t help but feel changed.
Allow me to explain.
For so many of my girl hours, I lay like a starfish on my Nan and Pop’s shagpile carpet, blissing out under giant headphones that came to feel more like home to me than the daggy relic they really were. Even after twenty or so years, I can feel the softness of the black leather on my ears (and isn’t that so completely amazing?)
Anyway. The girl. The music. I listened to whatever C.D I could find behind the glass doors of that triple decker sound system. It was like I’d come to crave music, as though every day it called to me, promised me that sunshiny feeling that only music can bring. And of course, I said: Yes. Let’s do this.
Every time I laid myself down in front of that sound system it seemed like the universe was whispering to me, like it was answering all the questions my young girl heart had not yet thought to ask of it. And actually, when music was happening to me there was no need to ask anything. In fact, there was no need to even think.
So, I didn’t think. I just listened and I felt.
One album in particular stirred up my inner butterflies, scattering them off to every corner of the room and back again, without fail. That album was: The original 1985 London Cast recording of Les Miserable. To this day, that album—and that show— takes my breath away.
And now we return to the reason for this post. The man. The voice. The moment that speeds up my butterflies and connects me to another human in a way that is so profound it has me shaking my head in wonderment whenever I think of it.
Because the thing is, this. There is a voice on that album—the voice of a man, who has such a minor part in the show I don’t even know how I found him. I don’t know his name, he doesn’t know mine. I don’t know his smile, he doesn’t know mine. All I know is that for two bars of the song ‘Red and Black’, a man sings. And I close my eyes. And I hold my breath.
I mean, it’s really quite amazing, don’t you think? There is a man out there—a singer and actor, whose identity remains a mystery to me—who will never know that there is a girl in this world who melts inside everysingle time she hears his voice.
Isn’t-that-epic? Isn’t that the stuff that makes hairs stand on end?
Life, huh. It really is all about the human connection.
I had a blog post to write—and a darling one, at that.
Instead of sitting at the computer, crafting a darling world of words, I leaned over the piano and melted into the melody of other people’s lives for a while. Song after song I devoured until I was there: in that wondrous place that appears when music happens to the world all around me.
I didn’t have a darling thing to write about. I wasn’t feeling the feels, hearing the voice that shouts all the good things into my ear in order for me to spill them into the darling lives of all of you.
I was lost.
Maybe that’s why I turned to the piano and not the computer.
You’d think it was a mistake, wouldn’t you, picking the piano? That I should have at least been trying to write a blog post, pinching at all the threads of darling in my mind, hoping to find the one.
Well. It was no mistake.
Quite the opposite, actually. It was a gift.
Because it was at the piano that I rediscovered the whimsical wonder of Moon River, the subject of yesterday’s darling blog. The glow of the moonlight, the calming drift of the river as she wound her gentle way into my soul. That song. Darling never sounded so sweet, did it?
So, there we were, me and my Huckleberry friend, drifting away—the two of us lost in a dream, tumbling toward the glittery wonder of the rainbow’s end. And all the while, the real world sat quietly and waited for us to return.
What a shame I had to come back from that beautiful place.
Then again, what a blessing.
I had to tell you guys all about it, didn’t I? Because this blog is, after all, how my most darling days are made.
Don’t even get me started about the darling friends I’ve met along the way.