Adam’s Note: This was an actual love letter I sent recently, alas to no avail… But we’ve got to put ourselves out there, right?

I’m sitting here struggling not to become single-minded, as I pride myself on generally being a pretty pluralistic thinker. However, lately there’s been one note that’s been playing over and over way deep down inside me. Like any good song, it wavers in intensity and tone; but it is a single note that reverberates in my ears. Where there’s been clarity in these days I have begun to recognize what the note is – but I’ve never had much of an ear, and honestly I have often only sung because I like to hear myself sing. Lately though, I’ve been urgently wanting to see the color from this note enter my sight, as its been a long time since the dust of old music was swept from my shoulders. One note has brought that urgency, unlike any music I’ve heard before.

Like springtime itself, I find my insides woke up when I first heard this sound, gracious and generous and real, coming through my ears. It was tender, yet had a fierceness and strength I only imagined from a bloated composition. Without the airs of classical music or the insinuation of emo, this note has all the sophistication and complexity I relish from great music – but unlike any other music, I find myself entwined in the composition’s single tone. I guess its just another way of being greedy, wanting to hear the same musician, the same song, the same note over and over.

Now, I have to remember that I’m not a musician. I don’t know how to dissect a song or pick out a hit or anything like that. Instead, I’m just a layman who finds beauty in the everyday. There’s nothing wrong with having a song to fill my day – and this tune, its feels familiar, common, and understandable. At the same time I have a lingering suspicion that there is an tremendous cacophony of noise – discordant and mucky, harmonious and clear – waiting beyond that single note. I want to hear those sounds, and the silence that fills the space between those sounds. I want to know when the music doesn’t play, and when there are too many musicians in the orchestra pit or on the stage. But I have never heard the rest of it, and can only suspect what is back there behind the first act.

There is an ether within this mystery I can accept, that is for sure, and honestly one of the most appealing realities of this note may be its unknowableness. I am attracted to the unknown. I also have a great capacity for listening to long, long pieces of music, and really hearing them, feeling them. I want to join an ensemble, even with only my layman’s understanding. I can follow, I can accompany, I can even wait in the wings – my only need is to know if the music wants to be heard the way I can listen – or if there is some other requirement or commitment or obligation or desire that I just cannot hear in that lingering tune. Unfortunately, I have been overly simplistic, a little naïve and a little assuming at times. Musicians have clobbered me over the head before, and that’s okay, because I appreciate music that really speaks to me. (That was meant to be a little funny.)

Like a lot of people, when I get nervous I talk fast, and all that would’ve come out in three seconds over the phone and not made much sense. I’m afraid it still may not.

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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