The Importance of the Sound of Music…
According to Nietzsche and Me

After returning from a year at New College, at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, I got a job. The next thing that I got was my first Irish Setter. I named her Ginger.

In my twilight years, I got another Irish Setter. Yep, her name is also Ginger. In fact, Ginger’s fourth birthday is this Wednesday. Last week, we spent time at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This was Ginger’s second visit in just over a year. I have danced with death twice, and that has sensitized me to Ginger’s longevity. Nevertheless, I am getting ahead of myself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

This essay is about music and me. Music is me. It defines me. In both Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche has this one-liner, “Without music, life would be a mistake…I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.”

This is life with music

Fortunately for humanity, we have music. As an addendum, Nietzsche also wrote, “I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.”

Therefore, this essay is about linking those two statements together. Psychologically, I dwell in a bipolar world of music and hauntings or what Nietzsche calls chaos. Those two mindsets must be morphed together for me. Without that linkage, my life would be merely existing.

I have a litany of songs, which have enabled me and millions of others to journey down the yellow brick road of life without veering into the guardrails. Songs like Forever Young, Pathétique, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Rhapsody On a Theme by Paganini, Flashdance, We Shall Overcome, etc. help me on my journey through life. Go to Music I Love and Why for many other examples.

Each of those songs reflects my mindset. It is interesting how I will gravitate to a piece of music and enjoy it for some period of time. Then like crescendo, the music crashes into my psyche. This happened to me while listening to Andrea Bocelli singing My Way.

My Way

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friends, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each chartered course
Each careful step along the byway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

I've loved, laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of loosing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh no, no, not me
I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say all the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows, I took the blows
But I did it my way

I have done two dances with death a dozen years ago and learned a great deal about life. I woke up to the reality that my clock was ticking. Now, you know your clock is also ticking. Nonetheless, unless you have done the dance, your knowledge base is an intellectual one. Prior to my dances, I also knew my clock is ticking. However, after doing the dances, I know it emotionally…in my gut. Trust me. Those two dances with death awaken me to living.

I know that my final curtain is out there…somewhere in time, but I am not privy to the date of my final farewell to life. I have lived life and ventured down many highways, especially overseas. Importantly, my journey is done my way. Now, I have made my litany of missteps. Nevertheless, I learned from them and continued my adventures.

All my hopes and dreams haven’t been realized. Nevertheless, I learned two critically important lessons in my life. First, as Nietzsche stated, “I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.” Facing chaos has benefited me. I have dreamed my dreams. Bobby Kennedy said, “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” Dreaming a dream doesn’t guarantee me that all my dreams will be realized but not dreaming assures me of failure.

Interesting, even when I fail, it is a teaching moment to encourage other dreamers to dream and reminds them to continue despite disappointments. At least, my life is lived my way rather than following another person’s mandate. Some of those others telling me what to do or think are like ships at sea…slowly sinking. They are not yet awhile that they are soon to go under. My life will be spent listening, observing, learning, and planning my journey by doing it my way.

In closing, Andrea Bocelli sang My Way. He is one of the best-known Italian tenors in the world. He has made millions of dollars singing hundreds of great songs and has received countless awards for his music.

Bocelli was born on September 22, 1958. All was well for him until he was five. At that time doctors discovered that he had congenital glaucoma, which limited his eyesight a great deal. When he was twelve, he was hit in the head while playing soccer, which caused him total blindness. If you want an example how to live your life with all its problems, watch this video. Bocelli is 62-years old hasn’t seen anything for half a century.

And you and I have problems?