I’ve posted before on occasion about the power of music for those battling mental ill-health. Music was a gift to me from very young age – not that I was particularly gifted, but that I was surrounded by people who loved music enough to welcome all and sundry to join in. I sang, I played, I accompanied, I joined in. And I’ve never forgotten it.
So inevitably, music plays a big part in When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend. My purpose in writing the book was to share what I have found helpful in the hope that others might find helpful things. It’s not prescriptive, just a take-it-or-leave-it offer. So I’ve included several playlists at the back of the book, most of which finds itself on my public Spotify playlists. This is how I introduced it:
There is not the space, inevitably, to describe why they matter to me: some meet me at my lowest ebb, helping to express cave reality (without necessarily wallowing in it); some capture a glorious reality or inexpressible emotion that I can latch on to; while others offer glimpses of an almost heavenly perfection, a reminder of hope for the sublime. I’ll leave you to discern which has which effect!
This is not exhaustive, especially because I restricted myself to a maximum of two per composer. Some express the darkness, or blizzard, in ways that words cannot approach; others shine light in ways that make hope possible; others are just sublime foretastes of heaven. (p196, When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend)
So here they are: