Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Midnight Moment!

 What am I thinking?
I’m thinking about the fascination of words and how they define our lives. I was reading a short quote just now by Oscar Hammerstein it goes something like this… “All sounds of the earth are like music.” I believe that.  I wanted to acquaint myself with these words and reflect on three of them: sound, earth, and music, and that’s what I’ll share here! I’ve taken a moment for each word and jotted down what they mean to me! Enjoy!


When I think of “sound” I think of the sounds defined by my life. I think of My mother's voice, my brother’s high pitched belly laugh when we're watching Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin movies, and I think of my Dad singing Jimmy Buffet and "Down by the Bay"  to a circle of happy kids around a campfire. I remember the sound of the wind and waves beating against our 24 foot Shark "Tyme Out" and the afternoons I spent sitting on her bow dangling my bare feet into the waves. I think about those summer nights gazing at the stars from inside the refuge of her v-birth and falling asleep to the gentle rocking sound of her hull against the water and the tinging of the halyards hitting her mast.

My neighbourhood friends come to mind and a game Jeremy named "Elmo” an exhilarating and nervy game we played night after night. I think of the haunting train whistle blowing through our town? Is it Dad? Will that be his train? Or is Ollie passing through? I think of Maia, and her thick Latvian accent, the sound of her hands swiftly playing across the old Anglican Church piano, the first time I heard Puccini, my first opera, and the first time I danced in my living room at a family party to Queen’s  "Another  One Bites the Dust.”  Delicious.  Every Saturday night my parents would turn Big Band onto the local radio station and on Sunday mornings the bacon would be sizzling and we'd be dancing and performing our flying acrobatics through the house to Swan Lake and Carousel with our colourful ribbons and cap guns blazing.

Sound has significantly shaped my entire existence! I found sound through those countless hours of Voice and Piano practice, scales, and vocalises and the sound of my beloved animals. I still remember the sound of that strong bay horse carrying me across my first jumping course, her galloping hooves along the dusty beaten ground, an eager greeting, and a soft gentle breath we shared quietly in her stall. I think of that fire siren, command signals, alerts, a hospital, and dedicated comrades hard at work trying to help the best they could. Oh God those amazing off tune Wednesday evening choir practices with Casey, Judith, Angie, Rick, Carol, Lynn, Katerina, Barb, John, and Betty wrong notes and missing breaths and the choir master frustration. The sound- the hum-the buzz of a small town how could one forget. I think of the sound of silence in the bush my hikes and adventures through Mount St. Swamp and my pondering rock. Elsa's laugh. The whistle of the lifeguard, the clip clopping along corridors and a sterile nursing ward, the sound of a cry, an ache, a love and a tenor serenade,  that Log Cabin, a busy kitchen, a spring wedding, a live band singing “Stand By Me”, dishes breaking and a loud OPA in festive style, a glass of Pinot Gregio being poured, the sound of rushing, pacing, and the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica and “Bella, Bella, espresso, espresso”, children laughing and stories aloud, the call of the seagull,  my howling Bailey,  a concert, a tuned piano, and an unturned piano...The voice of healing,  the voice of strength, laughter, popcorn popping, Katie, reading aloud, CBC and BBC, shaking Beatrice and her rattling teacups, late nights with sound and only sound. This is what defines me and this is what defines my sound.


When I think of earth I think of mud pies and beaten trails, a construction site and hammers, and paths through a backyard bush. I think of The Salt Docks and the flat hot rocks by the bay, my family home, The Big Blue Fish on the Hill, the trees, the rocks, the grass, and the moss. I think of Haines Lake and I think of Rankin Lake.  I think of canoe trips and driving trips some to Cape Hatteras and another to Newfoundland, Kensington Market, and the Scarborough Bluffs. The earth brings me country drives along old country roads that lead to old country hunt camps, farmlands, and meadows upon meadows of freedom. I think of a Log Cabin that felt like home and a ward where I felt sadly alone.  Yes, I think of the earth as being round, but round in a way that is completely open to dreams. Huh, a possible world!  Sometimes you can’t believe in your dreams until you climb way up high and look down at them! Earth to me is an untameable creature. We think we can plan her out and kind of trick her into what we want her to be for us, but the funny thing is we can’t and that’s what’s truly so marvelous about her! She always runs the show.  She’s a heaven on earth. Those feet that walk, run, and play on her quilted landscape and those arms that cultivate, wheel, work, mend, and heal upon her rooted core. Our beautiful nature and those imperfections in everything we love and hate, but most of all I want to love and respect this place we call home.

Expressions, ideas, emotions, sounds, and experiences we so creatively add to rhythm, harmony, and colour a simple and crazed pleasure for the brave and living. Music defines who we are and nurtures our time on this beautiful earth. It comes to us at different stages in our lives for different reasons. Right away I think of my uplifting times, the celebrations, a love, an infatuation, my friendships, thoughts, deceit, sadness, and healing. One thing I have noticed and perhaps you have found this too is that our ears like to change on us.  I listen to music I never imagined or dreamed I would ever listen too, but through experiences I can relate to all sorts of different colours and sounds. There’s nothing like metal on a sunny day! Music, sound, and earth are all gifts and every sound good, bad, celebratory, silly, sad, angry, thought provoking, spiritual, heavy, cultural etc., etc., etc. as the King of Siam would proudly sing out in only a Rogers and Hammerstein fashion. They are all beautiful sounds, we can’t always appreciate and understand them at the time of their birth but what we can do is collect them all and share them in our lives without even knowing. We do this all the time because they are what make us who we are.

 If you ever drink five cups of Peacock Green Tea with friends before bed and have a midnight moment like me try your hand at experimenting with words. I dare you to jot them down and express how they’ve changed your life.  It’s rather fun. Sweet dreams! I believe morning has broken!