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Hearing Our Music

“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

When is it easiest to hear your own music? When it’s quiet, of course. When you pull yourself away from the madness of the world, find the stillness and listen.

When it is easiest to hear the music that others are dancing to? When you break bread together, gather around and listen. And after the last couple of years you’ll hear all sorts of things.

Being out amongst the masses again, seeing many old familiar faces that have weathered differently in the storms of the last few years, prompts reflection on how I’m weathering the storm myself. You see quickly who has struggled, who has pivoted to find a different side of themselves, who has stuck to old beliefs or abruptly changed to new ones, and who has opted out entirely. And you see yourself in each of them.

This is a particularly noisy week, at an industry event full of people with diverse opinions, stemming from equally diverse backgrounds, information sources and social reinforcement. In this environment you hear some of the music that others are dancing to, even if you don’t always find it dance-worthy yourself. I think the important thing is to hear their music anyway.

And then reflect on what you’re currently dancing to. You might like it more. Or maybe less. But either way you’ll hear it differently.

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