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Out of mind

Music is not mere "auditory cheesecake"—it tunes the engines of self-awareness. That's why I ration my intake of Arvo Pärt and drive to the Small Faces

By Paul Broks   June 2005

A gust of wind. The woman’s wig flies off and spins across the supermarket car park like a cartwheeling cat. The man gives chase. Ha ha. Funny. Except that I am the man and the woman is my wife, and she is crushed. She stands, rooted, hands on her baby-bald head, eyes welling. “Don’t worry, Mum,” my son reassures. “No one saw.” Later, in the middle of the night, I lie suspended between resolve and despair. My wife is asleep. Her skin smells faintly of chemotherapy. I am listening, through earphones, to music so simple and profound that resolve and…

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