Monday, October 8, 2007

Harmonica Healing

With the last month being so extraordinarily stressful, once again I have turned to music as a source of relaxation. Everywhere I go, I carry my Lee Oskar "C" harmonica. Quite honestly, I'm still not sure why I've learned no songs whatsoever; I've been teaching myself to play for a few years now.

But blowing in and out on the harmonica is one of my best ways of reducing stress. There is a Zen quality about it. I stop focusing on the stressful events--whatever they may be, I calm down, and I only focus on the sounds I am producing.

When my mother, her caregiver, and I spent 10 hours together--much of it in the ER--and the caregiver finally left, and my mother was sedated because of her broken knee, my stress level was only exceeded by my level of exhaustion.

So, I asked the nurse if we could turn off the light so that my mother could rest, I put two chairs together so I could elevate my feet, and I began playing my harmonica. For the first time all evening, I could feel the tension begin to leave my body.

I closed my eyes, pretended I was on a ranch in Wyoming,and began a series of chord progressions. I play quietly because I have no idea how these sounds affect other people. Since I can't play songs, I'm not sure if what I'm doing qualifies as "noise" rather than music.

(more to come)

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