Inventing Me

This isn't exactly what I think was intended by the February music challenge, but it is very much musically inspired. So without further ado…

As is often my practice before bedtime, I was relaxing listening to some music when a thought struck me. The music in particular was Johan Sebastian Bach's three part inventions. I know that might seem like an unusual choice for someone who has spent the better part of the last 30 years playing rock, blues and country in bars, but I've always found that Bach relaxes me. Maybe it's the mathematic precision, or the fact that most of his work has been held up as examples of how to correctly do things in music theory classes since, well since it was written so I've been intimately familiar with it for the vast majority of my life. Whatever the reason, there's something about Bach that let's my mind relax.

Back to my story, as I was listening to the way the parts intertwine while still maintaining identifiable identities, I realized that my life is very much like those inventions. I can easily identify multiple aspects of my life that seem to exist apart from the others, yet without all of them I wouldn't be complete.

The first part that comes to mind is Jill. The truth is that Jill exists mostly in my soul, but makes her presence known throughout my life. She influences every thing I do and decision I make, usually without my being consciously aware of that influence at all. I guess you could say that Jill is the soprano voice in the invention that is my life.

The bass, on the other hand, is me as husband and father. Like Jill, my role in this aspect of my life directly affects every single thing I say or do. Sometimes me Jill and me husband and father may conflict with each other, but even when that is the case I'm forced to accept that I couldn't be who I am without either one of them.

Adding further color to things is me the musician. This part of my life may not dominate each and every decision like the other two, but it definitely brings color to what otherwise would no doubt be a passionless existence. Fact is, without music I fear that the conflicts between the other aspects of my life would soon drive me past the point of no return. So even though being a musician doesn't necessarily influence all the decisions I make, it does offer me emotional release that makes it so I can continue to exist despite the battle between being a family man and Jill.

In Bach's inventions, the different parts wind in and around each other, sometimes conflicting and other times complimenting one another. But always, the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. That's where the real comparison comes in.

Me Jill could maybe exist apart from anything else, just as me the husband and father or me the musician might be able to do so. But put them together and I become a much more well rounded person, in ways other than my waistline. The thing that really brings that idea home is the fact that I wouldn't want to try being me without all those individual parts feuding for dominance.

As number 15 in B minor comes to a close, I realize I'm getting rather sleepy. That was the whole reason for listening to them in the first place, after all. So off I go to let Jill, the musician and the husband and father in me move their never ending conflicts to my subconscious for a while so I can get a little rest. Goodnight to all the parts of me.



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