This could go in a couple off-topic areas but thought it might work best here. It’s a passage from Andre Aciman’s Find Me, his follow-up to Call Me by Your Name. A couple of the lines could use context from the novel, and I’m not sure I necessarily agree with it 100%, but I think it’s a generally interesting thought on its own.
Music doesn’t give answers to questions I don’t know how to ask. It doesn’t tell me what I want. It reminds me that I may still be in love, though I’m no longer sure I know what that means, being in love. I think about people all the time, yet I’ve hurt many more than I’ve cared for. I can’t even tell what I feel, though feel something I still do, even if it’s more like a sense of absence and loss, maybe even failure, numbness, or total unknowing. I was sure of myself once, I thought I knew things, knew myself, and people loved that I reached out to touch them when I blustered into their lives and didn’t even ask or doubt that I mightn’t be welcome. Music reminds me of what my life should have been. But it doesn’t change me.
Perhaps, says the genius, music doesn’t change us that much, nor does great art change us. Instead, it reminds us of who, despite all our claims or denials, we’ve always known we were and are destined to remain. It reminds us of the mileposts we’ve buried and hidden and then lost, of the people and things that mattered despite our lies, despite the years. Music is no more than the sound of our regrets put to a cadence that stirs the illusion of pleasure and hope. It’s the surest reminder that we’re here for a very short while and that we’ve neglected or cheated or, worse yet, failed to live our lives. Music is the unlived life. You’ve lived the wrong life, my friend, and almost defaced the one you were given to live.