November 10, 2014

This is just a thought. A few thoughts, strung together by a brilliant idea – one I cannot lay claim to myself.

It is no news at all that Wonderstruck has worked wonders for me over the past week. I have waxed lyrical about the power of song in my posts on here, but on a personal level, I cannot believe what it has done for me. I am prone to the blues. Not the lonely clarinet and soft voiced blues, although I am partial to that as well, but the state of being. I’ve been in a state of listlessness for quite a while, and every so often, it gets me down. I don’t mind people knowing that. And I joined Wonderstruck on a whim. Trying to find something to do on a rare day off work.

And now I’m sat in Central Library in Manchester on another rare day off and I’ve been thinking.

Writing about this project has given me a purpose. Not a purpose in the grander scheme of things, like my life’s calling. I’ve not found the light of a literary priesthood. But a practical purpose. Something to do after work is finished instead of reading a book or watching a film or playing stupid games on my computer until my eyelids are heavy. Writing about this has made me realise not only the power of music (which I have been aware of for many moons) but the power of words. Of my own words. And most importantly, the power of people.

Realising that you have the power to transform someone’s way of thinking is a heavy tonic indeed. And as the weekend approaches, as the songs are tightened and the buzz increases, the sense of power is there. This could change someone’s life. I’m not being melodramatic. It actually could. Because if something as simple as singing with people can lift my spirits, then imagine what it could do for a passer by. Someone who is just wandering past the museum and decides to have a look inside. Who hears music, and follows it. Who stands and listens to the words and the melodies and sees the smiles on our faces and realises that they’re smiling back. And who leaves afterwards with a bounce in their step and a feeling that they can’t quite explain. But they feel lighter, somehow.

Allow me to be poetic for a moment.

We are tiny, tiny things on a rock flying through space. There are miles and miles of infinity that stretch out in front of us every time we look at the sky. We are so small. But we are not insignificant. And, with a moment of music, we can make people see something amazing. That there is so much out there, but so very much more inside of us. There are worlds and planets and galaxies and solar systems in our own heads if we just look far enough. And isn’t that wonderful? We can read all the books and watch all the films and go to all the museums and browse the entirety of the internet and we still wouldn’t have scratched the surface of everything there is to know, and isn’t that the most wonderful thing? Knowing that we know nothing?

But with Wonderstruck, we are tapping into the unknown. Nobody knows why people make music. It wasn’t born of necessity. It isn’t, on a practical level, needed. It doesn’t feed us or shelter us, give us clothes or water. But it is an inherent human thing. We make music because we can. We sing because we can, and it is a power and a privilege to do so. It is another thing entirely.

Anyway, enough of this. I need to find something to occupy the next five hours before rehearsal. Have a good day.

Emma Geraghty is taking part in Wonderstruck and has been writing about her experiences. You can find out more about Emma on her Voices of Wonder website.

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