So sometimes when I run or wog (what I like to call intervals), I see or hear things that inspire me to think, which then inspires me to write.  Thankfully, I don’t run so fast that everything is a blur.  In fact, I run so slowly, I’m pretty sure there are some squirrels that can beat me in a race.  But, that was not my point…I digress.

Many people were off today due to Good Friday.  I was off because this is technically my “spring break” from teaching.  So as I ran I was grateful for the day off to run, and spend with my daughter later on, and I thought about how though I am grateful for all of the religious holidays, organized religion really doesn’t align with who I am. As much as I’ve tried to make myself fit into that box at times, it’s just not me and it makes me feel like a fraudulent human being when I try to make myself participate for any great length, which is not the thing I’m going for. Ever. I’m definitely the spiritual, but not religious girl.

While I love the cultural aspects and traditions of many religions, the organization of it all, the dogma is something I cannot stomach.  I understand that those elements bring some people comfort and direction and inspiration, but I am not one of those people. To each his own, right? So, there I was listening to my iTunes on shuffle as I always do when I go for my runs and then this song came on that reminded me that what many people find in religion, I and I suspect many others find in music.

…And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I’ve found that I belong here…

– “Home” Depeche Mode

I’ve talked before about how certain songs can bring you back to a place or time or person that is comforting and beautiful, which this song certainly does for me, but it also reminded me of an experience I had at the last Depeche Mode show I went to with my friend Kiana many moons ago. We were dancing and singing along with the rest of the crowd on the floor, but the guy in front of us was having what I would like to call “a moment.”  Some might say a “religious experience.”  There was screaming and shaking and the Depeche Mode-equivalent of testifying going on.  And he wasn’t the only one. After I noticed him (and I couldn’t not notice him, I’m pretty sure I ended up with a billion of his sweat beads on me from all the shaking), I looked around and could feel the energy in the room, the collective moments being had by all the people being truly moved by the music, not just moving to the music.  It was pretty amazing. And I’ve been to a lot of amazing shows, a lot of shows in general, but that one took the cake in terms of raising my energy to a new level and making me appreciate the power that music can have.

For me, comfort, inspiration, and oftentimes direction are found in lyric and melody. If I don’t hear music daily, I feel anxious and lost.  Singing along (or just on my own) feeds my soul. In short, I have found that music really is my religion.  Can I get a witness?