While it is not true that every 7 years all of the cells in our bodies have been replaced, cells in our bodies are being replaced all the time. How is it that so much of us of us remains steady and consistent? I guess one could argue that our brain cells lasting much of our life may contribute to this. Yet still, their connections are constantly changing. And I am not sure which is the bigger miracle, the change or the stability. I guess in order for this to happen, much communication must take place, messages or codes are passed on by our cells, saying, “This is what you are to do to keep things stable and consistent, to recreate this person.” In a very, very small way saying, “This is who they are. You must follow these instructions if this song is to be remembered, if they are to continue to play the guitar or piano, to sing, to speak, to care about others, to remember their friends.” It really IS amazing, this stability in the midst of such change, this communication, this passing of the torch. But things are not always recreated exactly the same, and as Darwin and others have pointed out, it is these very “imperfections”, the differences, that can lead to change and survival, to new creative solutions. Of course, out of control, unbridled changes, a lack of consistency, a break down in healthy communication between cells, can lead to death.
From a much larger perspective, songs are also important for carrying messages, for passing things on through cultures and across generations. Our experiences and feelings are captured in stories and descriptions in songs. Sent out in live music and in 1’s and 0’s, assembled and reassembled again and again to recreate words, an image, a feeling in the mind of another. The stories of the times are captured and passed on, as well as the feelings, the frustrations, the losses, the ideas, the hopes and dreams, the joys, the commonalities among us all, and our uniqueness. Again, there are commonalities in our songs, and there are differences. Both are important. In my last blog post, I wrote about familiarity versus uniqueness, and the importance of both to songs being heard and remembered by the masses. It seems I have come back around to this balancing act.
I hope that what I write and communicate in songs resonates with at least one other human being and we say together, “Yes, this is how it is. This is how we experience life on this “big blue marble”.” I think it is important to connect with others in this way. Somehow sharing the burden, lightens the load. And sharing the joy, makes the joy that much more intense and meaningful. But also hearing the uniqueness in one’s story, in one’s song, is important. That we are unique and have choices, makes joining with others all that more meaningful. And from others recognizing the commonality and the uniqueness in “our song”, and we recognizing these things in “their song”, comes validation.
Songwriting is important work. Keep singing your songs, connecting with others, and passing on the messages you think are important. Find the balance.