Listening to Yanni while making a bad choice makes that choice seem like fate rather than a mistake. Or perhaps music changes the shape and consequences of a decision as the melody suspends reality for a moment and we’re no longer a part of a world where natural laws abide. For this reason, music is a gift. Art helps us to be better people and to see people better. Art also helps us to more effortlessly embrace who we really are, despite the potential miss-alignment with the melodic-less expectations of others.
On my elevator ride down today after work, I listened to Yanni. Usually, I can hardly breathe crammed in there with strangers. Every floor down seems like an eternity and I judge everyone and am certain I’m also being judged. Not to mention the awkward moment when the elevator gets to the lobby and as a woman I’m uncertain of whether the men will stay behind to let me off first, or whether I should do the logical thing and wait in the back of the elevator because it makes more sense for those in the front to get out first.
But today, the lyrical piano riffs of Yanni made me feel like I was floating away from work with eternal souls who all had the common interest of simply getting home safely.
Something happened though, the moment I graciously got off the elevator first, as the men stayed politely behind, a new song started to play. It was a mix of exotic instruments but started with an inviting nature call on some sort of flute. This song said to me, go where you want to go, be who you want to be, love everyone, and never define your morals to help someone else accept you just because you don’t want to lose their approval and companionship. This song said to me, maybe not everyone on the elevator wanted to go home tonight.
If only we could have an orchestral and synthesizer masterpiece piped into work live from Yanni every day. Perhaps we’d take more creative risks, be more forgiving, and require fewer sick days. Work is meaningless without art. Love is lifeless without music. Choices are untenable without a steady rhythm to make sense of timing and context within the larger performance of what we call life.