Kirk Matthews - Generations Magazine - August - September 2011We take too many things in our lives for granted. I’m not the first person to say or notice that. But it has become abundantly clear to me in recent months that it is something I want to correct.

I’ve had a “health challenge” that involves radiation therapy five days a week. It also involves having my face covered with a mask and being strapped down to a table so I don’t move. And then they slide me into a tube.

The technicians are brilliant and as accommodating as possible. The first couple of times, as you might imagine, I was somewhat nervous about the entire procedure.

That feeling of anxiety didn’t go away and I wondered what I could do to help myself. Then, it dawned on me.

The technicians play music inside the tube and I asked them if I could pick my own music. They said, “Of course.” I brought a CD filled with old-time blues songs done by some of the people I used to play with “back in the day.” It was comforting on several levels. It’s almost—almost—come to the point where I look forward to my sessions.

Music, my friends, can turn your day around. When you hear that certain tune from your courting days, or your school’s alma mater, or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or whatever that song might be, let it lift you up. I will never take music for granted again.