If you're lucky, at the right time you come across music that is not only "great," or interesting, or "incredible," or fun, but actually sustaining. Though some elusive but tangible process, a piece of music cuts through all defenses and makes sense of every fear and desire you bring to it. As it does so, it exposes all you've held back, and then makes sense of that, too. Though someone else is doing the talking, the experience is like a confession. Your emotions shoot out to crazy extremes; you feel both ennobled and unworthy, saved and damned. You hear that this is what life is all about, that this is what it is for. Yet it is this recognition itself that makes you understand that life can never be this good, this whole. With a clarity life denies for its own good reasons, you see places to which you can never get.
I think this may be the clearest articulation of music's magic I've ever read. I don't have the energy to go on right now about the influence of music on my work and life (and God knows I've talked about it elsewhere), but I will say that I haven't listened to much music for the past several years, in part because ... well, I don't want to bore you, so let's just say the technology kinda got away from me for a while. Now, thanks to having an iPhone, a set of Skullcandy ear buds (THE ONLY EAR BUDS THAT HAVE EVER STAYED IN MY FREAKISHLY TINY EAR HOLES), a rudimentary understanding of "downloading," and a car with a CD/auxiliary media player, music is helping me through yet another strange and often terrifying time.