Saving a Song (previously published on Sing For Me
Music saved Hunter’s life. Dramatic statement notwithstanding – those who know him know that on the issue of what music has done for him your correspondent is not given to hyperbole, but —
Music saved my life.
A music fanatic throughout his life, this writer was inspired by and found purpose in the world of music. Until his darker days, which began in his early thirties, Hunter rocked to Rush, was serenaded by Sondheim, cried over Carrie Underwood, belted out tunes by the Boss, and commiserated with the Commodores. His lost decade took music (and so much more) away from him.
For over ten years he had no interests beyond making money to pay the bills. He wanted nothing but to eat and sleep away the remainder of life in a psych med and frustration fueled stupor.
Today, for the moment, Hunter relies primarily on the good will of others for his physical needs. Today, music fuels the drive he needs to earn back the life that, though earning his keep, he wasted by starving out his love for life. He would not have gotten back the drive to live and to love life were it not for serendipity, prayer, and the actions of friends who blessed him with the gift of music after his long hiatus.
In days darker than even that lost decade Hunter lost his grandparents, his home, his ability to connect with others and, ultimately though not permanently, his desire to live. For the first time since his lost decade had begun, this writer contemplated permanently stopping the psychic music that orchestrated his despair.
Sensing his need for distraction from pain, an observant friend gifted Hunter with the latest Melissa Etheridge album. For her simple gesture alone Hunter will be forever grateful. A day later (ironic, for a man who not long prior had been a very vocal atheist), prayer brought him several new friends – music fanatics and musicians one and all. In meeting one new buddy, a man wise beyond his years, Hunter rediscovered love for life. Hunter embraced hope.
This new friend was dogged by the ever-present hand and eyes of the law thanks to a conviction on charges which, though ugly in their inference, stemmed from the much uglier actions of a family member he ought to have been able to trust. Though the life the courts forced him to live would make most folks resentful to the point of anguish, my new friend sought to make the best of things. He refuses to allow circumstances to change his fundamentally positive nature. All he wanted to do was to work, to play guitar with his band mates, and to sing.
How could one feel despair in the presence of folks who smile, sing, and literally bounce with joy down the street despite the world’s attempt to chain them? How could Hunter not smile, see possibility, and then plan a new course in the face of so much defiant, joyful resilience? How also could he not feel the hand of GOD directing him or the touch of GOD comforting him in the wake of coincidental circumstances which, in context, were quite literally impossible to be mere coincidences? The events could not be seen as coincidence, not without Hunter violating his core belief in the primacy of reason. Hunter could particularly not avoid acknowledging GOD’s touch in the wake of directly related events to come later. To do so would have been grossly ignorant and irrational.
Hunter heard the still, small voice of GOD in those events. The song got ever louder when he tried to ignore it. Eventually, he knew it was in his interest to listen.
How could he not hear and feel the music?
Music returned to my life. Following decades of deafness I once more heard subtle notes rising in a crescendo. That music will, over time, become a new soundtrack. I’d like to share the music.
This site, as well as Snipehunter2012, are the opening chords. Forgive me if the music you hear is a bit off-key. Hunter is merely running back up vocals. He’s a bit rusty.
Feel free to sing along.
[postscript] Hunter’s musician friend was ordered by the courts to serve out the remainder of his sentence last month (July, 2012). Thanks to deep betrayals by a trusted family member and thanks to an uncompromising legal system which forces many to make impossible choices between protecting one’s family and acting in one’s interests, when he is finally released his twenties will have been a lost decade – lost to the confines of the correctional system.
Hunter writes solely for himself. The sense of life that Sing for Me shares, however, belongs primarily to the free spirit of Hunter’s friend and to all those who Sing for themselves. Sing for Me is dedicated to the hope and joy of Hunter’s buddy – hope and joy temporarily chained and thus withheld from the world while he remains in custody.
GOD bless survivors of crimes against children. May HE forgive those who would act in ways that destroy a child’s innocence.