Dive into the vast sea of creativity with us in this session recorded at AS220 in Providence, RI!
- Snapping Sticks
- Acorns in a Styrofoam Cup
- Spring Storm
- Birds in the Forest
- Hooper Brook Beaver Dam
The night air was cool. Water lapping again the concrete wall. Moon half-cresent but bright. Thin, nearly translucent crickets sat low in the short grass, singing to one another, and anybody else that happened to come close enough to listen.
This was a time of reflection. He realized that now, having sat here for 20 minutes. A lone walker, a woman, wearing an evening dress, disappointed by how the evening went walked by his spot on the bench. He knocked the wood and she jumped, startled. This world was her’s too. She just wasn’t convinced of it yet.
He tried to focus again. It was hard to do that these days. Facebook, Trump this, Trump that, people getting sick, sick from the information, forgetting about the good things. He had forgotten, but here he was, he was going to take it back.
He leaned forward on the bench and spotted a thin, dark stick daring to press out onto the sidewalk. It was a wonder that such a thing had survived the thorough grooming of the city workers. They were good at their jobs, militant even.
Nick had watched on of them, in the middle of a torrential downpour, go after a garbage can as it was being blown down the street. It was the pinnacle of dedication, and when the lightning sounded, and the worker picked that can up off its side and wheeled it to the curb, it was something that Nick never had in his life. A purpose. To pick up soggy trash bins in the throes of a hurricane or any time was absurd. He had always watched from the sidelines, thanking the gods that he didn’t have to endure such stupid work. Nick was alone.
And it had finally become too much. For the first time in a long time, Nick just, he didn’t know what he was doing, much less call, he just did something outside of himself. He left his Florida apartment, with AC roaring and Playstation 4, and just made for the sea wall and the bench sitting in front of it.
As Nick walked, he heard the birds in the trees. He had no idea there were birds in the trees at night. But then again, where would they have gone otherwise?
The wet grass, the moon, the distant glaze on the water, this was all here, not for him. It wasn’t a package that you got from Amazon, bubble wrapped with a 30 day guarantee. No, this was the first time in Nick’s life that he realized that the world around him was a gift, and it was up to him to make the most of it, and it was up to him to choose what he was going to pay attention to.
Nick sat and listened.
The sound is bigger than the source.
Eighty five decibels at cicada season.
The crickets — summer’s stringers,
background hum brighter than the
belly roar of the whirlybird.
The rain, the infinitesimal droplet,
the emergent property, the ocean.
The thunder — the polarity at atom’s width
split and sung back together,
the seam resown as light.
The lighting bug — its message: see me, know me,
see me know me here in the grass.
Hear the grass. Hear the pores of the soil
poured full with the rain.
Hey blue jay. Blue like water like sky
like the slick road. Road noise is gray,
violent, fast, dull, all around.
The ground is a sponge. I will sink in.
I will lay in the mud and hum like an inchworm
in a chrysalis, a larval mayfly,
its hollow case, its fragile tube.
CD – 4.22.17