Dr. Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and apparently compulsive communicator, has written a number of books about the oddities of the human brain. He's also written about his hobby as a fern fanatic. I've read a good many of his books because he is one of the most compassionate doctors I've ever read, he writes for the lay person but doesn't talk down and I'm endlessly fascinated by the pecularities of the human brain and, obviously, he's even more fascinated and offers a ton of examples when he writes.
Music, says Dr. Sacks, is a special function of the human being, it is separate from rationality and from reading and from physical movement. He doesn't say it's magical (he'd never write that way) but it IS magical. Parkinsonian patients who can't stop trembling, who can't walk normally, can dance gracefully. People who have suffered strokes and can't speak a coherent sentence can sing songs with words. People who were not particularly musical before a neurological disaster may become able to sing or whistle or even compose music. I cannot even begin to list the amazing roles music can play in a human life. The book is worth reading for the discovery of what a wonderful organ the human brain is and what a wonder music -- many kinds of music, from basic drumming rhythms to complex Bach fugues to jazz and so on and on and on -- can enrich the lives of all of us normally and bring us joy even when we suffer brain damage, strokes, Alzheimers and other diseases. If I'm ever unlucky enough to suffer a brain disaster, I hope someone will be compassionate enough to put a radio near me set to a classical music station. Classical music has been among the beautiful things I've ever experienced and it's a little comforting as I move in older age, to know that unless my hearing goes entirely, I will still be able to enjoy music no matter what happens to my brain.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!