Joel

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Let's take a guy - hey, let's call him Joel.

 

Joel's a jock. You know Joel; big guy, beefcake, brawny. Brainless? Maybe. More like motionless.

 

Y'see, Joel has a brain and it functions just fine. He's learned how to color inside of the lines,

and walk straight and talk straight and stay fit and eat right and yada and yada and so on, so forth, ad infinitum,

 

but as good as Joel is at "walking straight", Joel never really moves.

His actions are pre-predicted; his path is all lain out. And true, he's no reason to worry or doubt,

but Joel will never break out!

 

Joel's stuck. Like a passenger waiting for a canceled flight, Joel's not going anywhere anytime soon, but for some reason he doesn't want to leave the airport either. And it's not because he's dumb - we've already established the whole "working brain" thing - but because he doesn't know how.

 

Joel's life has no motion because it has no music.

 

And here's where we whine about the benefit to a beat, right? I'm supposed to transform into some screeching harpy with a conductor's wand for whom "MUSIC IS LIFE", and not just on a semi-ironic t-shirt. Right?

 

But no. I don't claim to worship music, and while music may be life for some, that just ain't true for me. But without the songs and sounds to push him, Joel will stay solitary. Without the tunes that music teaches, the passion and purpose it preaches, he won't have the humanity to move. Music does more than fill our ears with song - it etches patterns into our minds. It exposes one to culture they would never have seen and technical masteries they would never have known, and knowing music - its intricacies, its basics all boiled down - grants not just talent but a critical movement to life.

 

If Joel listened to music, he'd have a new brain. He'd find patterns in places he could never explain, he'd listen to melodies plunked out by rain, he'd see pure emotion bowed out clear and plain. Plus, his schoolwork would no longer be such a pain - a musical mind uses skills learned through lyrics, analysis, perception, association, and bing bada boom, Bam. Homework's done.

 

Music makes your soul a receptive, burning sun - energy flows from it, giving life to every action you take. Giving movement.

 

So there's my speech. I'll put my wand away and my "MUSIC IS LIFE" shirt back in the closet. After all, there's nothing I can change about Joel's soundless ways. He graduated school, got into a good college - football scholarship - ended up not making the major leagues as most Joels will do, got a job, a wife and 2.5 kids,

 

And to this day, he sits - waiting - in that airport. 

 

Listening for a song he was never taught to hear - waiting for a movement he will never know how to take.

 
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