How Music Fills a Space

On Sunday evenings, cars would whistle by in the pitch black; the orange lamp posts gleaming in the windows and glimmering doors of passing vehicles. The beauty of the dark was the way it was surrounded by and submerged in music. Opening electric guitar ballads flooded out of our Ford Explorer, they washed over the highway, crested over cars, and rippled into the outlying forests. 

Nothing seemed to escape the melodies. See, when music really truly fills a space its current rolls into and twists towards every nearby nook and cranny. I can see the radio in our car, I can see the windows rolled up and I know that only my family could hear the music but it felt as though everyone could. Music is like water, it takes the shape of whatever container or space it’s in. 

woman holding Elvis record in shop Photo by Jamakassi from Unsplash

Unfortunately, the way music billows and foams is purely situational. When I ride the train, out of respect for other passengers, I listen to music via my earbuds. I sit or stand surrounded by a sea of people but I am alone. I'm alone in the tide. Alone engulfed in tidal refrains. I feel isolated from everything within reach. 

When I listen to music, I want it to fill everything in sight. I want to plunge into the surf, to see everything ripple from soundwaves. I don’t want to be the only one listening. I want everyone to be pulled into the torrent. There is something so enjoyable and thrilling about seeing others listen to and hear the same things and the same way you do. 

Orange LED sign that says Photo by Mohammad Metri from Unsplash

When I am actually swimming I spend a great deal of time just listening. Only underwater am I consumed by the quiet, only then does it feel like the universe has stopped. The beauty of sitting on the floor of a pool is that there, too, everything is surrounded by and submerged in the same sound (or lack thereof). Perhaps, music is like water and listening is like swimming.

It doesn’t matter what body of water, model of car, or space you’re listening in. All that matters is you’ll remember the feeling - the feeling of everything washing over you and flooding empty space. I can see my mom’s ring glinting as she turns the dial on the radio. I can see the overcast night sky heavy with impending silver storms. I can see the other vehicles passing ours. And I can hear the world listening. 

Maybe music is what makes us a little less alone.