“Soul Melodies” Fiction. Based on a True Longing.

“Why does Celtic music make you sad?” – Willow

Soul Melodies

Fiction. Based on a true longing.

By Leanna Glenn Markham

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

The Celtic melodies,
wrought from green earth, where it meets clear sky,
where rugged coastline dare the seas to do their worst,
surprise the soul
with tenderness.
They seep into the marrow
where seeds of love, of longing
and deepest sorrow
germinate into delicate flowers
with the hardiness of Braveheart.

Why do these resonate
with tear-wringing power?
Why so magnetic as to
draw the heart to Heaven, Hell, and Highlands?

I’ll leave the question hanging.

I’m sure an ethnomusicologist
could somehow trace the roots
of bluegrass to these Celtic hills and hamlets.
For it holds the same power to
summon the soul to hardscrabble places
In landscape and soul
while lifting the spirit to the skies.
I’ve equal certainty that angels dropped
the hammered dulcimer
from above and blessed some with the
heart and hands to play it.

I haven’t such a gift.
But then, I haven’t tried.
Instead, mine are child’s fingers that plunked out
“Loch Lomond” on the piano
over and over while I wept over the
sheer melancholy of it.

I have unfinished business with music,
but I cannot speak of it now.

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