I read this book when I was in high school and was mesmerized by it, the following is a passage I found so moving and so healing of pain, I hope it will heal any pain you may have this day.
Also below, a jazz guitarist named Sheryl Bailey who is terrific. Another one of my heroes.
“Siddhartha listened. He was now listening intently, completely absorbed, quite empty, taking in everything. He felt that he had now completely learned the art of listening. He had often heard all this before, all these numerous voices in the river, but today they sounded different. He could no longer distinguish the different voices —the merry voice from the weeping voice, the childish voice from the manly voice. They all belong to each other:
the lament of those who yearn, the laughter of the wise, the cry of indignation and the groan of the dying. They were all interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. And all the voices, all the goals, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life. When Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, to this song of a thousand voices, when he did not listen to the sorrow or the laughter, when he did not bind his soul to any one particular voice and absorb it in his Self, but heard them all, the whole, the unity, then the great songs of a thousand voices consisted on one word”
This music of life he speaks of seems like the impetus for jazz (and other kinds of music, but especially jazz). Jazz has some magic power due to it’s base in what is real, it blends real–pain, grief, meaninglessness–with beauty and spirituality–for me anyway.