Posted by: Mike Whitmore | April 22, 2010

Music & My Phlebotomist

I had an amazing experience with my phlebotomist today.

No, seriously. And I’ll bet most of us could not claim that. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

We were talking – wait a minute. Strike that … He was distracting me from what he was about to do in sticking me with a needle. How? He asked me what my outside interests are, what I “do”, when I’m not getting needles stuck into me. I told him the usual, “Well I’m the President of this and I’m on the board of that,” blah blah blah.

Then I told him about my passion for music and how I’m a “recovering” drummer and learning to play guitar. This sent our conversation in a whole new (and much more amazing) direction. He told me how his wife got him a new trumpet and lessons for his recent birthday. (Notice that the two come as one gift.)

But here’s where the magic came into the conversation.

He said he used to be into just rock music. Then, one day while in the library at college, he decided to look through their music section. He stumbled upon a Miles Davis CD and listened. And he listened again, again and again. Four times all the way through the entire CD he really listened.

The music moved him in a very poignant way, right to his soul and he’s never forgotten that moment. It changed his life, influenced his music tastes and his understanding of the power of music.

That reminded me of another friend who told me about hearing The Doors first album at college. He was moved as well and the memory of just sitting and listening – really hearing the music – always stayed with him.

For myself I remember several albums that affected me. Moody Blues & Days of Future Past, RUSH’s Moving Pictures, William Ackerman’s Conferring With the Moon, Dire Straits Brothers in Arms and others.

There is sublime power within music that stirs the soul, creates indelible memories, strengthens friendships and shared experiences and even distracts the haughty and prideful from the dreadful phlebotomist’s poke.

May I suggest that each of us pause and pull out one of those treasured recordings this week or this month and just sit and listen, really listen once more?

Then come back here and share with us your experience?

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Responses

  1. Mike,
    It is so apropos that I read this post this morning. I was just in my garage looking for something and I saw my small stack of vinyl records I still have from when I was a teenager. On top of the pile was Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” an album I listened to — really listened to — many times as a young woman. Like the friend you mentioned here, I also listened to “The Doors” a lot. Music is such an important of life, not just as background noise but as a core influence in shaping who we become. Thanks for sharing your memories!
    Mary Lou

    • Dark Side of the Moon is also one of my all-time favorites. Have you ever been to a Laser Floyd show at a planetarium? Yeah, it’s a total geek thing, but sooo fun.

  2. Mike – did you notice that Rush’s next tour will include the entire Moving Pictures album? Awesome… I can’t wait – tickets go on sale in Utah on 5/5.

    • I did not notice that, but it’s soooo fantastic! We just got our tickets for their Seattle show in August. ROCK ON!!

  3. I have listened to “Dark Side of the Moon” with my two boys several times over the last 6 months or so.

    Music is amazing and transcendent. If you’ve noticed I’ve been posting a “music video of the week” on my Facebook for the last couple of months, though sad to say very few if any seem to care. Everything from avant-garde and free jazz to opera to vocal. I can’t understand (or stomach!) close-mindedness when it comes to music. I say expand your horizons a little bit!

    This life is not long enough for me to soak in all I would like to soak in–and that goes for music, sports, reading in many fields, etc. That is one of my big frustrations in life.

    • Yeah, I hear you my friend! The Mrs. and I went to a nursery today looking at all the amazing plants, trees, flowers and such and I’m amazed at all the varieties. Will I study gardening & botany next? I doubt it, but it could be fun someday…

  4. Mike, I think that you are right about really listening. Did you know that people with Alzheimer’s will respond to Christmas Carols when nothing else works? When they recognize the music, they will respond in some significant way. Please let us not forget those that are shut in this Christmas Season. Let’s give them a smile or a loving touch. Let’s even play or sing Christmas Carols that still can reach their souls!
    Viva la Music!


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