Naomi Rose / Songs, and Writings on Music

"A masterwork awakens in us reactions of a spiritual order that are already in us, only waiting to be aroused. . . [M]usic cannot persuade; it makes evident. It does not shape conduct; it is itself the exemplification of a particular way of looking at life. A concert is not a sermon. It is . . . a reincarnation of a series of ideas implicit in the work of art." — Aaron Copland, Music and Imagination

Music has found me, challenged me, inspired me, saved me, dismantled me, and loved me into expression. Music was the subtext, the subliminal message, the angelic whisper, the reminder, the “hang in there, this will pass” inner coaching, the message, the method, the lure, the reason, the bridge, the way, the instrument itself, and the holy call. — Naomi Rose

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Naomi’s Writings on Music


Merinda had never seen such a beautiful flower. At least, she thought it was a flower. It had those same creamy radiating cups she remembered, that same astonishing balancing of its full, gravid weight on top of a stalk so slender, there was no reason it should stay aloft. A perfume emanated from it like a distant memory, some tantalizing life once known and long gone. Like her own.

She turned her gaze away from what she was assuming was a flower, and sighed. Ever since the time she privately referred to as “The Great Removal,” she had been up against the same paradox. Everything looked more beautiful than she could have possibly imagined: the sky’s light was more shimmering; the “flowers” (if indeed that was their name) more intimate, leaning their wildly colored tops balanced on spindly stems towards her as if to almost whisper her very own name; the slowed-down moments of encounter with things she would once have passed by, unseeing, now quietly urgent, as if a patch of grass growing out of a concrete island separating the lanes of city traffic were itself a wonder of the world, a message from beyond, a burning bush. Everything was radiant with life, calling her to it, calling itself to her. The nameless world had opened to her and claimed her, as a lover claims a beloved who doesn’t yet know that chosen role. Only, she could not speak of it like other people. She could not depend on a memory bank of knowledge of the names of things, the racheting how-tos of their care. It was as if her mind were a library, and whole shelves had been rendered unusable; but the beauty of the volumes remained.

The amazing thing was that she had been able to get away with it so far, to pass as “normal,” simply by speaking very little and allowing a reputation as a “run silent, run deep” kind of person to take hold. She made do, in social situations, with minimal talk, nods of the head, smiles, gestures, dimpling in modesty, laughter and sighs. There was no question in anyone’s mind who had been around her after the time of The Great Removal that she was an intelligent, engaged, amicable person, whose company they enjoyed. And all agreed, she was that rare thing: a very good listener.

But what they didn’t know, among all these sociable interactions, was what it was she was actually listening to.  That silence was what generated the field of listening, in which others imagined Merinda was talking to them in just the same way they were talking to her. That where they heard, inside their heads, thoughts and ideas and opinions, she heard silence. And sometimes, underneath that, music.

Copyright 1997 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

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