Wired

Wed 12/24/03 at 3:56 pm

Today is Christmas Eve. I’m not much for holidays. My favorite Christmas is still the one I spent alone in my North-facing, forth-floor walk up tucked just behind the Guthrie Theatre, eating Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup with saltine crackers and watching football. Even so, I have strived over the years to provide a haven for my friends who find themselves with no family plans for Christmas Eve. I make Norwegian Chili (to distinguish from New Mexico Chili), posole (hominy, red chili, and pork), and fudge. Everybody else can bring whatever they want. So, today I was making my Norwegian Chili, and I loaded my fabulous Christmas CD called “An Organ Christmas.” When we were kids, my brother played the organ at Trinity Lutheran in Madelia, and he was really quite good. So, when “Angels we have heard on high” came blasting forth from the stereo, I realized, if I closed my eyes I could be as good as back at Trinity on Christmas Eve for the candlelight service. And so I’ve decided that music is the highest, and, first art form.

I mean music, in and of itself, can evoke such clear memory and emotions of past times. (Though I wonder if music is truly an international language such that the same emotions are felt by people unaccustomed to the music of various cultures.) And that line of thought got me to thinking about the rumored “music of the spheres.” And that of course reminded me that music, like supposedly everything else is “just” mathematics. Like our computers. 0s and 1s. And then I thought, maybe music so moves us because it is actually wired into our DNA, in other words, we knew music before we, cosmically speaking, knew ourselves. So it lives in our DNA while so much of art is because of our sentience that hasn’t gotten coded yet. And then I thought, if music is mathematics, and music evokes emotions, then maybe emotions are simply mathematics, and so why isn’t someone trying to discover the mathematical formula for love, or sadness, or grief, or joy. Then again, maybe they are. And if they succeed, will we need music anymore?

next post: Your fortune for today…

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