Remember, I’m an attorney and haven’t taken a physics class since my senior year of high school, so I might be really bad at explaining this. It might not make any sense at all.
When two waves interact with each other, they can either build each other up or cancel each other out. With constructive interference, the waves are aligned to amplify and combine to create a new wave with a greater amplitude. Now this only happens when the waves’ peaks are lined up or are “in-phase.”
The opposite of this happens when the waves are out of phase. This is called destructive interference. When the peaks offset each other they cancel each other out.
When we interact with the things that amplify us, we feel good. When we interact with things that cancel us out, we don't. And so it goes with everything that we come into contact with. The goal is to listen to what our soul is trying to tell us. And our happiness relies on us being able to include the good things that amplify us and minimize the things that don’t.
I think this principle is why music is so influential. The sound waves quite literally interact with the frequency of our soul. It’s why we like listening to sad music when we’re sad. And it’s probably why every time I see the band Book On Tape Worm, I come away amplified.
There’s this uncanny phenomenon where every time I see Book On Tape Worm, it’s exactly what I need at that time in my life. A gentle reminder that there is beauty in heartache and that other people have felt how I currently feel. Lead singer Scott Shepard’s voice is a balm that soothes your loudest anxieties until they are mere whispers, and you walk away knowing that you’re not alone.
As I sat in a church pew at St. Mary's Episcopal Church last night (the church was a venue for the Buzzards and Bees music festival), I was reminded of a story Scott told at his annual Velour Slumber Party at the beginning of this year. A friend of Scott’s, who upon falling extremely ill, admonished him, saying, “If you got music in you, make sure you get that out.”
I didn't have music in me, but I had story that I needed to get out. In the nine months since Scott recounted his friend's words, I have written a book. I turned that book in to an editor a week ago, and the goal is to have it out for you to read by the end of the year.
While listening to Book On Tape Worm's sermon, I reflected on the year I've had. It’s been incredibly hard. I don’t know what I thought my life would be like quitting my job to pursue writing, but I think in my naïveté, I was expecting something a little less emotionally taxing.
But as the band reached their final song of the night, "Confetti," I was reminded of something else from their Slumber Party set. They passed out strips of paper and pens. Scott instructed us to write down something we want to let go, to move on from, and to crumple in our hand and to hold onto it for the duration of the next song.
After the song, he instructed us to rip up the piece of paper. Then, he taught us the following lyrics from their song "Confetti":
All our troubles
and all our cares
fall to the ground
in colorful squares
All our sorrows
can wait for tomorrow
We’re safe here
We’re safe here
He instructed the audience to hold on to our ripped up colorful squares until we reached the part of the song he taught. Then when we were ready to let go, we should throw them in the air, giving us a mini fireworks show of paper as people one-by-one threw them in the air.
Sometimes we need a reminder of how far we come, and that we should hold on to the things that have amplified us along the way to get us there, and let go of the things that diminish us. Last night was that reminder.
So, come here often?