What’s Your Theme Song?

The music swelled and the credits rolled, and I once again found myself at the end of another movie. I sat back and gazed over at my friend who gave me a soft smirk. We both knew what was going to happen next. The two of us had a habit of analyzing and thus slowly picking apart the movie we just watched. Normally we stuck to the analysis only divinity students like us would notice—such as the theological implications of the color the lead actor was wearing, or the role feminism played in that part where the woman was pictured holding a frying pan. However, this time my friend caught me off guard as she stated, “I love that one character’s theme song.” I was surprised. Theme song? The character has a theme song? She assured me that in fact all the characters had their own background melody when they appeared… didn’t I notice? Well no… I didn’t notice…I wasn’t listening.

As a musician, my friend is used to listening to the melodies that accompany films. I learned that she often analyzes music—listening in order to identify the individual instruments in a song.  However, I, as a visual artist, remain oblivious to the music with only the vague recognition that yes there was indeed music playing during the movie. Instead I enjoy focusing on the colors being used or the composition of the frame. At first I chalked it up to the simple fact that my friend and I had two different passions and backgrounds; thus we were each simply drawn to different aspects of the movie. But then I began to wonder…While I enjoy my visual observations, what beautiful discoveries am I missing out on simply because I am not listening?

I am often accused of being a quiet individual. But a great perk of being a quiet individual is that you gain a reputation for being a good listener. And while it may be true that by not talking as much I do hear more things, am I really listening? Do I understand all that is being said to me? Am I aware of the meaning behind the sounds? Can I identify the individual emotions in someone’s story? Am I really listening? Am I really understanding?

Everyday all around us, people are playing their theme songs, trying to tell us something about themselves—something deep that perhaps no words could ever describe. Are you willing to take the time to listen to someone else’s theme song?

Am I listening when my classmate in the hallway tells me he is tired? Am I listening when the woman in the back of the room gets up and walks out the door? Am I listening when protestors in the streets cry out? Am I listening when the wind blows through my hair on a warm day? Am I listening when my body doesn’t want to get out of bed?

Are you willing to listen to your own theme song? Just as other people try to play their theme song, so too does each of us have a theme song that we are trying to get out. In the midst of trying to listen to the theme songs of others we cannot neglect to listen to our own.

So listen…Take a moment and just listen. What is in your heart? What is your theme song? What do you need to listen to both inside yourself and in the world around you?

Take a minute. Listen. You might be surprised what you hear.


This blog post was orginally written for Salvage Garden.

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