Charms to Soothe the Wild Breast
From Tibetan Chants to Rock and Roll
In response to an inquiry from a kind reader, here are my animals’ thoughts on music.
Makia, my all white cat, says, “Music has a healing ability. When a person’s mind is not doing well, music can help them cope with anxiety. Creating music can be a way to look at a problem and deal with it. I know this because I used to live with a musician. He fought with allowing the divine music to flood out of him, versus being captured and consumed with creating dark music. Sometimes music will scare me, and other times it will help me heal.
“When I was sick my mom played Tibetan chant music for animals. Those chants have a way of healing me at my core. Sometimes I want to hear that music even when I am not sick because it reminds me to take care of the space around and inside of me.”
Serafina, my gray cat, says, “My mom will listen to country music in the car. I think it has stupid lyrics. I like classical music because it reminds me of the complexity and the simplicity of nature. Every time I listen to classical music I find my mind remembering the country. Seamora loves rock and roll. It calms her. Stormy will dance to anything as long as he has a partner. The unpredictable nature of that dancing used to scare me; now it entertains me.”
Luca, my young poodle, says, “I think music is just noise. I try to listen to see if I know any of the words. I only know a few. Though when my mom sings to me, I feel like I know all the words. I love that. It is so fun when Mom makes up songs about me and the other animals. It’s fun when she sings different songs than the radio; we all laugh. She is so funny, my mom!”
Stormy, my Aussie, says, “Music is special to many people. I love it because it brings emotions to the surface. If one feels a little down and listens to music, one can dance it out. I used to dance a lot when I was younger. Even my pet-sitters liked to dance with me. Now I hear the songs through the floor instead of my ears. Dancing is still so much fun. I love to see people get happy when they are dancing with me. I am a great dance partner. Did you know that some people and dogs dance in competition? I have not seen this but long ago when I was younger my mom and I used to make up dance routines. We had a lot of fun.
“Music is very healing. I used to know a sad man, and the only thing that made him happy was music. I felt very sad for his life but very happy he could create music to feel joy. Music for him was a lifeline to this world. Sometimes when I think of him, I wish the music angels would help him heal. Music has more power than even I know. I can feel it.”
Bean, my black bunny, says, “Music used to scare me, especially if it had bass or drums, because it makes the floor move like rabbits thumping a warning. But now I hear music differently. I love the Tibetan chants because I feel like they are chanting just for me. I love classical music as well because it makes me think about sound. I can get lost in the thoughts of sound. I love acoustic music, and I admire woman songwriters. I do, because I feel like they are loving people that want to send a message to change the world. I like men too, but I like female voices better. They are softer. Sometimes, with classical music, I will eat and see if I can eat at the same pace as the music. It’s a fun game.”
Jubilee, my 3-year-old appaloosa sport horse says, “I have not listened to a lot of music, but I have heard that when horses go to shows they sometimes do a routine with a rider to music. Sometimes they jump and sometimes they do fancy steps. I wonder if the horse gets to make up the steps and how fast they move to the music. I wonder if all animals have an ear for music. Though I will say I feel like there is music in the breeze and music in the sound of the birds. The birds and the breeze come on every morning, and I enjoy hearing those songs. I also enjoy hearing the motor of the cart that brings us our hay and the horses nickering in the distance. That is beautiful music as well. Sound can come peacefully, or it can come abruptly. When it comes abruptly it is not bad, it is just different. I know this because I have heard loud noises and realized I shouldn’t be scared of them. There is so much to learn when you are young. I am sure music will mean something different to me when I am older.”
Seamora, my blue and gold macaw, says, “I have lived with many people who love music. I once had an old owner who loved strange music that people did drugs to. I didn’t like that lifestyle but the music gave me something to escape my surroundings into. Then I lived with a man who loved rock and roll. He taught me a lot about music and beat. I can dance to any beat. I know all the lyrics to classic rock, but I don’t know how to get my tongue to say them all.
“Music is the best. When I am stressed and going into a bad place, I go instead to the music. He always had music playing, and I miss his happiness with the music as well. It fulfilled his soul. Everyone should listen to music. Parrots are really good at making music, and I love the sound of a flock of birds all making their individual music. The sound of many parrots is like its own song. I don’t have a flock of birds now, and my mom says I scream, but really I am singing rock and roll.”