The Righteous Brothers were wrong; no melody is ‘unchained’.

I find myself lingering upon far-reaching, cosmic thoughts of late. Pretty sure it’s the impending menopause; I haven’t bought my purple jumpsuit just yet, but I’m perfecting some acerbic comments and my ‘tut’ / eye-roll is ready to go. Only recently I attended a concert and heard a piece of music played that means a great deal to me. It’s a classical piece that both in the ‘second batch’ of my children were born to…literally.

I can still recall straining through the contractions to shout ‘play it a-f*ckin-gain, get to the good bit; the good bit, the rousing bridge with minor chords, the crescendo bit, ffs come on the ring of fire is here…’ and to give Daddy his due; he got it spot on.

I’ll not dwell on how a deaf/mute with no hands could have done it faster. Or if a dog had taught a hawk wearing boxing gloves to achieve it they’d have expected less praise…I digress.

Anyhoo; it occurred to me whilst sitting within touching distance of the violin soloist (in a white suit, skinny, spotty and balding; a full house) who was caressing my soul; through my ears that a celestial chain reaction was taking place.

Delving deeper I imagined all the micro-links and chains that connect all our sensitive and highly personal mini-life experiences via musical notes. And that’s another thing; think of all the compositions of music; within all the genres that are created from just, seven musical notes. (on a piano at least) . The major and minor chords, blends of sharps and flats, limitless combinations each timed to perfection. The layout of which evokes a myriad of different emotions; as we mentally link faces we love, nostalgic scents and touching memories.

I mused at how our brain extracts all the emotional data pumped into us through our senses and simultaneously marries it all up. Then formulates a magical algorithm that produces a physical effect. It does this on a second-by-second basis and each time it’s slightly different; as more and more intimate detail is added and must be calculated and re-calculated. Andall of this happens faster than a heart beat and without us knowing.

So it came to pass that on this evening as I listened to this highly emotive piece of music; I felt the hairs on my arms stand to attention, my heart pound in my chest and tears fell onto my cheeks as I replayed the unfettered joy of being handed a perfect baby. The sheer desperation I’d felt after battling through a pain only a woman whose given birth can imagine. A bittersweet pain; mixed with fear and hope that ended (thank God) with elation and relief.

Though I sat next to my eldest child who was born via a c-section, where no music was played and I was under a general anaethetic. A little one born too early; who was not growing and was given a chance of survival weighted against her, I squeezed her hand and gave silent thanks, safe in the knowledge that the symphony was now richer than ever.

Note to self: must buy some Tena-lady pads and a bag of Strawberry Bon Bons.

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