One of my all-time favorite pieces of music is Discombobulate by Hans Zimmer. All though, you would most likely think of it as the Sherlock Holmes theme song. That is, if you’ve seen the 2009 remake with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. If you still can’t bring to mind the music I’m speaking of have a quick listen here.
I love this piece for many different reasons. First, the beginning is unsure. The instruments step lightly and quietly, allowing their feet to land where they land. Then, once it gets on it feet, once the piece learns who it is and embraces that, BAYAM! In come the joining drums and strings and the music takes off on it’s own, blowing the world away with it’s creativity and sheer awesomeness!
This music gives and takes. After a while some new instruments join in, taking the foreground. They sing the same tune they’ve been singing all along, but add their own flair to it. And every once in a while you’ll find one note, just one note, that sounds ever so slightly off key. All the while the beat remains erratic and uneven.
This is how life is, I think. We all have to find our rhythm, our beat. Some people’s rhythms are softer and quieter like Brahms’ Lullaby. Some are rounder, fuller, and more startling like Beethoven’s Fifth.
But I’ve found I’m more like Zimmer’s Discombobulate. I give and take. One moment I know who I am. I join with the electric strings and the drums and keep into my own personality, blowing the world away! The next, I’m quite and unsure. I step self consciously, quietly tripping over my own feet trying my hardest just to remain in tune.
And all the while, my beat is syncopated. I can’t remember a time when I thought or reasoned the way other people seem to (playing 20 Questions with me is impossible). I’ve never once followed the “standard path.” I’ve never stepped foot in a school and here I am, learning college-level subjects on my own at home. I had little more than the basic hands-on writing tutorship and now I find myself creating novel length pieces of art, teaching myself along the way. And I can discuss Doctor Who for hours when discussions of sports, or shopping, or drama put me to sleep. Nothing about me is “normal.”
Often, I think, we put ourselves into boxes. We think our lives should be one way, so we strive to make them look and feel like they’re that way. Sometimes it’s intentional. Sometimes it’s brought on by years of indoctrination and peer pressure. But often our lives never turn out the way we planned them. So why plan?
Let’s just stumble around a while and find our beats apart from what the world tells us to do. It’s okay if we can’t see the road ahead for now, as long as there’s a place to put our foot down. No one can force you to play the piano when all you really want to do is jam on your kazoo.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands this. They cling to their box because they know no other way to live. Sometimes I look at them and think I should be more like them. Maybe I should try to be something normal, I think, like Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance or Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. But then I take a look at my life right now. I study all the successes and failures that have brought me to this point and realize, though I might not be where I want to be, Lord knows I’m nowhere near where I planned on being, I still wouldn’t trade my life and experiences for the world.
I prefer to be Discombobulated.