Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stopping to Hear the Song

Whew, I'd also forgotten how fast everything here runs, how time-poor many Americans are. Those that are the working poor are running to pay their bills, and the rich, well they are also running to pay their bills, they just have higher bills. And of course everyone in debt. It's the American way.

So okay I checked out of the afternoon classes I teach to go to the dentist (more bills) and sit down in a cafe afterwards and watch people walking by. Maybe I'd had too much wine, I don't know, but all of a sudden it felt like I was being hit by little hammers of clarity, bam bam bam. In the sixties I had to take acid to get these kind of insights, you know, the kind you can't remember afterwards, but now all it takes is a sip or two of Chardonnay. Okay, it takes the whole damned glass.

So one of the many insights I had in this insightful afternoon was that I suddenly began hearing the individual songs of people. I mean as each person moved by me, I could literally hear their individual rhythm and voice call out to me... some people were kind of shlub schlub schlub, you know the fat guy with his shirt out and some messy notebooks under his arm ambling along, and others had high clear notes, perhaps with a little percussion to accompany them, like that high cheekboned blue-eyed Swedish girl with her pony tail pulled back swish swish swishing in the breeze, and her heels going clackety clack.

Suddenly I wanted not just silent me there observing all this, but the whole band to play it out loud. I wanted to round up a group of my musician friends so we could play back the songs of people as they passed.

Stop and try it sometimes, and see what you hear.

1 comment:

Susan Dorf said...

yes, well, I can often hear my own little percussive rhythm beating it's tiny drum there in the back of the big stage. Some days it goes BOOM shakalaka. But today it's more like Hummmmmmtaptapdrummmmm....