Max's Music

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“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to greet you upon this most honorable occasion. Our next recipient’s early years were filled with music and the enrichment from both his father and his beloved mother Emma…” As he listened to his introduction, Max couldn’t help but drift back to a more simple time in his life and hear his beloved mother’s tender voice…

“Maxy, come down here and clean up this mess!” Max’s mother, Emma, loved her son dearly, but was not always happy with his ways. Frequently, he left his books and music in a heap at the dinner table. Max didn’t hear his mother and she interpreted this as ignoring her, yet again. “Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck! Get down here right now or you’ll see the belt again!” His mother screamed at the bottom of the stairs up three flights where Max kept his life, now that they just moved to Munich.

“Max, mom is going to skin you alive. She sounds so angry. I bet she’ll get Dad to whip your hide,” Max’s sister Hilde warned as she peaked into his room.

“What…what are you talking about?” Nine year old Max was lost in his thoughts as he concentrated upon the keys of his piano. His fingers touched the ivory and the sweet sound that rose was that of Brahms. Max the musician filled his life with music and the serenity of the outdoors. Unfortunately, he became so engrossed that he blocked out the world around him to the point of receiving terrible punishments.

“I said, Mom is going to get Dad to smack you back into this world if you don’t start paying attention and cleanup your stuff downstairs.” Hilde always looked out for Max because she loved to hear him play, but mostly, she knew that he was someone special and wanted to protect him from the world, including not getting walloped by their parents.

Max continued to key the melody and closed his eyes. When he played, he could feel the world around him contract and expand as the dynamics demanded. It brought him to a place where nobody could touch him or his thoughts. His shoulders became light and the air he breathed filled his lungs with life. He could soar with the melody lines; he felt the rhythm and the beat of his heart kept time with his music. It was a moment for Max to escape the physical world around him and dive deep into his thoughts which always stole him to divine places. The fabric of existence, the place of peace, inner beauty and definition came to the front of his mind and he could see things like no other. He was able to figure out the contours of the world and make sense of them through the universal language of music.

This time, however, it was different.

He saw his sister talking to him, but he only could see her mouth moving, no sounds. As he continued, the room behind her vanished into blackness and he was suspended in darkness with only the sound of his music available. He called out, “Hilde, you there?” No response, just a speck of light off in the distance that grew larger by the second. His piano vanished and he gasped.

“What in the world?” Max’s jaw dropped as the speck quickly turned into a gaping window overtaking and surrounding him with brightness. It was if he was racing through the air, but couldn’t feel any wind on his face. He looked behind him and saw that he followed a thin electric blue line. He was somehow attached to it, but there was no physical connection. The line dashed him toward a small aperture that grew in front so rapidly he crouched as he jetted through the opening.

Immediately his mind was blown but relaxed at once. He could see his room below shivering ever so slightly. Visually, he zoomed to his desk, no longer his desk, but a collection of a million vibrating lines. The skin on his hand; more millions of these lines. All that he saw was broken into the tiniest of parts. And yet, they all worked in conjunction to give form, shape and substance. Max whispered to himself, “Elation.”

Time was not essential to this experience for Max, in fact, it didn’t exist. The only thing that existed was the electric blue line that carried him. Eventually, he realized that he was on an orbit of sorts. There were near collisions with bright orbs continually, but never a hit. Carefully focusing, he could make out that he was in an elliptical pattern circling a center enduring light. Max couldn’t help but imagine that pinpointed spot. He hungered to get there; to find out for himself. It gave him the sense of peace and order he bore when playing his music. “I can’t take it anymore,” Max spoke out loud, “I need to find out…” With that, he forced all his might toward the center, broke free from the electric blue and headed straight into the deep cool burn of the core.

It approached faster than he expected and upon reaching the outer edge, he was met with warmth and a logic that provided for him a lasting inner peace. Max opened his arms and flew, unabashed into the light and never looked back…

The voice continued, “…therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great honor to present the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics to, Mr. Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck.”

The applause stunned Max back to this moment. He rose, stepped to the podium and spoke after a long pause, “I realized at nine years old, that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. It happened one night while playing my piano…”

About the Author: 
I am currently a teacher of 7th grade English in New Jersey. My fascination of math and science bring me to the most amazing places. Combine that with writing and life is simply splendid.