I attended the concert of KHylin, a singer friend, at the small hall of a church near school. It was a mini charity event of which the sales of tickets will be used to buy bouquets of flowers for the victims of the disaster on 3.11.

A dozen of memories flashed past my mind throughout the whole event, which began with a video taken at an evacuation centre at Iwate Prefecture 2 months after the disaster, and followed by a string of amazing songs lined-up by KHylin. I always believe in the power of music- the power and gentleness of the voice, the melody, the lyrics and so on. But I believe what truly lies beneath the mere vibrations of air particles, and what really moves someone in a music piece is in the recovery or ressurection of memories that had dwelled in the mind. Heartbreaking, painful memories kept in the box for good, or beautiful memories, in fact too painfully beautiful to be revealed- all these memories are unleashed by the power of music.

Indeed, how touching can a music piece be if it does not bring up any memories that you can relate to?

The volunteer activities that I had occupied myself with after the disaster, the experiences I had, the rewards- both spiritually and in terms of knowledge, all welled up in my mind as the strings of the guitar were struck and the keys of the piano hit the wooden blocks, and a soothing voice ensues. Perhaps it was the atmosphere of the Church, or the mere interior structure of which, that echoed the memories released, and hitting them back into my mind twice as hard. I frown as I listened on, trying hard not to lose out to an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and sentiment.

It made me wonder: How long more are we obliged to engage in volunteer activities that lend a hand to the victims or the affected regions? Had I already done my part in helping them? Is there an end to this? I cringed when I realized the limitations of my actions, and felt reproached at my insincerity in continuing the deeds till the “end”. When exactly is the “end”?

After a long internal soliloquy and debate, it struck a chord in me that perhaps this is life, however cliche it might sound. We are involved in an never-ending cycle of helping others, while being helped by others. There is no end to it, because what goes around comes around.

I could not help but smile in the end, because it had made me realize something that might have long disappeared to the back of my mind. The power of music, the power of memories, and the even greater power of what becomes when the two combine.

Another article that I wrote about the power of music: https://dennischia.com/2011/01/17/music/