I think you know you have found your soul music when even though you are not musical yourself, can barely pick out a tune on a piano, just thinking of it you can hear it in your head, feel it in your muscles and ligaments, lungs and heart, see the notes flying around an invisible page. Even though I cannot sing, my soul music makes me feel as if I can. I believe I can sing when I think of it, hear its ghosts in my head.

The first time I heard Handel, knowing nothing, a strange little girl feeling her strangeness strongly as she entered her teens, I knew I had my soul music. It’s much the same as the way thinking of your children, even though they may be far away, you believe you can smell them, your skin can feel their skin against it, you can hear their breathing. They are with you always. In you.

Music, and those we love, give us a sense of moving through life together, accompanied, no longer an isolated and frightened creature in the scary woods at night. Nothing “literal” or concrete: just a subtle sense of being… with. Being human can be such a lonely and dark thing. Music, like those we love, shines light into the dark places and sweeps us along in its embrace. With music, like with those we love, life is so much more bearable. So much more.

Perhaps that is why we so often have a strong music motif for the people we love, why we love to add a soundtrack to our times with them. My soul music is also my soundtrack for those I love. As long as I have music and those that I love, I have everything I need. The rest is just set dressing, meaningless stuff we fill our lives with as we play the games society needs us to play to keep the money flowing into the wrong pockets.

As I approach my half century, I think almost daily of my High School Latin teacher who spotted an unlikely Baroque lover in the making and opened that world to me. I have no idea why he seemed to know that my soul needed this music. But I am eternally grateful he did.