This is the second in my Lenten series of posts reflecting on my reading of Monica A. Coleman’s book “Not Alone.”
“My God, my god why have you forsaken me?” These last words of Jesus, Monica A. Coleman reminds us, were not a random cry of disillusion, pain, and misery. When Jesus cries out on the cross, she tells us, he was quoting the psalms (Psalm 22), the music of his people. Coleman places this observation in a discussion of how important music is to her struggles with depression, especially spirituals. These are songs, she reminds us, that grew out of the songs of slaves in the fields. This is music that was born out of depression and lament.
I’ve always taken refuge in my music. Many people do, but when your affect is tied to so many seemingly random things such as your diet, sunlight, exercise and brain chemistry run wild, music’s ability to touch one’s emotional center seems magnified. At least that’s my experience, and so it seems it is Coleman’s as well.