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Tuning in to the Rhythm of My Own Desire

by Maha Khan 11 days ago in playlist

Music is the simple expression of complex thought

A picture I took on a walk with my best friend at the corner of Shady Lane, London, ON.

I washed up on the shore of adulthood impressionable and unprepared. Belched from the eye of the storm that was my childhood, adulthood thrusted me into a climate far more hostile than I had ever anticipated. Forgoing the rhythm of my own desire, my hand was forced to take part in a dance dictated by social norms that scrapped my feet down to bleeding stumps.

The frigid chill of deadlines and finances, paired with the heat of life’s daunting logistics, created an updraft that compressed the breath from my lungs. No longer the captain of my own wheel, the fear of survival beat me into submission as I danced for reasons that were not mine. Before I knew it, the tornado consumed my vision and I was so dizzy that form and the vivid hues of life exhausted into a dull blur.

At war with the overstimulation of the physical world, I attempted to take refuge in my mind. However, as I shifted my gaze inwards, fear paralyzed me and an invisible force held my face to the window of reality. My eyes were torn open and all I could do was engage with the violent tides as they scrubbed away my sense of individuality.

Spit back and forth by forces beyond myself, I took root by controlling my emotions. I was surprised when my emotions defiantly bit back by crushing my face even further into the window. They were not to be controlled, but they were not something I consented to feel.

Yet, I was enchanted by the ways they presented themselves and accelerated the chaos.

Living an entropic existence, the chaos eventually swallowed me whole and I found myself dining at rock bottom. At the mercy of fate, I took a seat and made do with the table the hostess of life led me to. I was fortunate to discover that rock bottom reserved the opportunity of going nowhere but up.

Dining on my own, I romanced myself by finding entertainment in the form of playlists. I found that creating playlists loosened the grip that forced my face to the window by amplifying the injured voice of my soul as it begged for me to listen to the rhythm of my own desire. Choosing my own music was like having the arms of my subconscious gently peel me away from the window and sit me down.

In this position, I am a third-party observer of my own reality. I watch the passing of the tides and choose which to surf.

I use the music of my choice to speak directly to my soul so that when I close my eyes, I transcend my body and engage in much needed self-research. I am liberated with the power to shift my gaze inwards and observe the streaks of blood and wreckage that mar my internal landscape and finally take stock of my own needs.

The strong ringing of trumpets paint my mind with light red hues of poppy flowers inspired by the acknowledgment of personal wars. I paint blue inspired by the cool essence of peace embodied by the sound of heavenly flutes. Most impactfully, the sound of an old violin energizes the walls of my mind with a yellow that brings the warmth of a mother’s embrace into my mental realm.

Colour is the keyboard. The eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.

- Wassily Kandinsky

Now when I can’t bring myself to peel my eyes away, I use music to ground my soul despite the calamic resistance of life’s little nuances. I am liberated as I dance to the rhythm of my own desire and not of others, I recognize my true nature as a source of power.

Nursed by the love of my own melody, I gaze back into the world with a revitalized vision enriched by colour and form that projects an eccentricity no longer jaded by denial.

Above all, as I learn how to love myself better, I learn how to love others better.

Maha Khan
Maha Khan
Read next: Jay Z: From Worst to Best
Maha Khan

Hi, I'm a second-year student interested in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on the intersection between arts and technology as well as the economic role of art within Western economies.

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