Jun 09, 2010
Today I went with a close friend (with someone else nice enough to drive us because of my marked physical limitations, as well there was extreme rain) to a classical music concert. It was at a well known library. There was a church ensemble that was well known that was playing renaissance era music which included chamber music as well as Gregorian chants. I have always enjoyed classical music but have become more interested in early music which is a term for classical music of this time frame. What is also interesting is the history of it. Gregorian chants besides being of course religious music are known to have a direct calming effect. As well they (as the curator who introduced it himself said) have a whole history and have similar music that predates them that is part of the specific psalms that are an essential part of some of ceremonies of Judaism (though clearly different but there was some noted historical influence). I remember those specific recitations not only from the Passover ceremony I went as a child but as well the other day I was thinking about my elderly uncle. I hadn't seen him in a long time and my mother was driving him. He was (after speaking about it) singing a specific recitation for Yom Kippur (thus it being a holiday of fasting, it had a mournful quality, unlike those of Passover which are joyful). He stutters and has trouble communicating (unlike me, this is a disability he was born with, not an adverse side effect) but he can sing in the choir quite well at the synagogue (which is of interest because the area of the brain that processes direct speech is different from that which controls singing and prepared speeches which he recite very well).
The friend I went with (who assisted me with some accommodations I needed) had gone to church and grown up with this music and of course found it very meaningful. I couldn't say that I myself did not find some meaning as well. I believe that the idea and concept of forgiveness is worthwhile as one aspect that helped me was to let go any sense of anger about what was in reality an adverse side effect (and thus helped obtained better treatment). As well the idea of not self focusing and fixating on oneself as important, not as more than other people and of course having respect for others. That's important for all of my life but my mental and neurological recovery as well. For researchers my specific recovery is important but I am personally am not and do not seek to be. However part of this involves my mental recovery as well. Before I had the standard moodswings that many people do. Unlike the psychosis, these are still there but there is a separate mood disruption that they are tentatively categorizing as tardive dysphrenia. The tic like utterances that I had to suppress and the inability to comprehend things that I always could would have made a person who had not known me think I was less than rational has they seen me there. And there were set changes of mood disruption and dissociation. It is being understood as neurological (in standard clinical research). However unlike before what I am seeking is to regain my emotions. But in some way they have been disrupted and they are understanding how to treat them through me. But life is about balance. Jump ahead a century later than this music and you have well known composers such as Bach. His compositions on harpsichord were scientific (a title such as an "invention" should clue you in, it was the beginning of the age of scientific discovery). His organ works ("Toccata and Fugue in D Minor") were deeply religious. Neither conflicted. But they were also deeply emotional. Keeping emotions and their expression and logic in balance are part of recovery. So I could say I enjoyed the concert and defining how but my ability to "feel", that is experience and express this enjoyment is less than before. But with neurological recovery that is changing. And through some of the ideas that the music itself expressed and symbolized, I can gain a better understanding on how to think of my own life and my own place in the world. And as I seek to re-enter the world, with better physical treatment and supports and services, some of that understanding will help others. But as they said as the concert "save your applause for the end". But it won't be for me. It will be the researchers who dedicate their lives to newer, safer and innovative treatments whose promising results will benefit us all..