My speakers, pulpits of prophets, of holy vibrations.
During the day, after the caffeine seeps into my bloodstream, I often have a constant soundtrack of hip-hop, bee-bop, indie rock, and electronica to give my workflow a steady rhythm. Music, as much as the caffeine, affects what and how much I am able to get done in a single day. It lays the path for hours and hours of analysis, reflection, writing, revising, listening, observing … all those things that, after eight ours a day, make up the knowledge economy.
I hear the music, but I do not listen to it.
Which is why, for one hour every night, I lay down on my bed with none of the props that follow me during daylight like shadows – the laptop, the books, the iPhone. Just me, my boxers, sometimes a cold beer or glass of wine, and Eastern Europe’s warm summer breezes drifting lethargically through my bedroom windows. What do I do for this hour? I listen. I don’t think. I don’t plan. No regret, no gratitude, just thousands and thousands of little sound waves making their way from my speakers to my eardrums.
I close my eyes, blocking the unnecessary visual sensations, and strain to hear every single drum beat, the vibrations of each guitar string, the quivering emotive vocals, the perfect imperfect pause, the unexpected note, the anonymous background vocal. I take it all in, like how some take in a glass of chardonnay or the perfect joint or the good word of the holy books.
I have not yet seen Kurt Vonnegut’s tombstone, though I imagine that one day I might. Just one year before he died, however, he wrote this:
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
This podcast isn’t for everyone. Far from. But for those who listen to it, lying in bed alone, eyes closed, I salute you.
(You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes by clicking here.)