facebook is music
Until a week ago, the only time I’d ever really used facebook was on my big brother’s cellphone, on his account. Piano was his muse, jazz his idiom; Joshua was 39 and suddenly only had a few days to live. “David, I guess the piano’s yours now.”
His friends, real and virtual, were seeking him out frantically on facebook. The cell at his hospital bedside kept vibrating, insisting, so finally I started responding.
The immediacy of expression was palpable. I’d always thought of facebook as plastic and insincere, but suddenly here was this community of souls and it was magical, almost more real than actual life. Each incoming stream of thought or virtual touch literally pulsated in my hand.
The morning after he died I awoke just before dawn, alone on his futon, and gazed up at his grand, a muted black box. I reached out in desperation to his cell, ripe with a hundred condolences and farewells, as if the portal to heaven existed inside facebook’s borderless walls and everyone knew it. Through those strands of voices, bits of virtual flight, he was alive.
That’s what music does. That’s what music is.
A portal between real and virtual, felt and imagined, where what’s actual is less essential than what becomes real.
so here’s to you, facebook…. thanks for the music.
You might also like "Suspended Gratitude"
ps for those of you who knew Josh, here's a video of the encore – Lush Life – from his final public performance, at Owens Auditorium, SCC, in Pinehurst, NC in March 2013.