Let’s make music together…

I am not a big fan of the movie All Dogs Go to Heaven.  Sure, the messages of getting a second chance, and changing for the better, and doing the right thing, are all positive.  And the music is catchy.  But something about this movie in particular felt manipulative to me, even as a kid.  Maybe it was the unbelievable innocence of the girl, or even the major premise of the film.  Mafia dogs who go to heaven?  Throw me a bone, please.

Yet sometimes it’s the absolutely ridiculous nature of the tale that tickles my fancy.  Take the opera-singing alligator, for example (crocodile?).  He’s living in the sewers, eating lesser dogs, and is just about to do the same to our hero, when the doggie howls.  Which somehow is a pleasing, not repulsing, sound to the alli, and he insists that they have a sing-along instead of chowing down.  I love that.

I love the idea of the world singing.  I love that whole odd earlier Christian philosophy about the spheres of the heavens giving of some small, ringing music that we could all hear, if we were only just a little bit closer.  I like the idea of every molecule vibrating with some kind of lively sound that we will someday hear and enjoy, when we only have the science.  I like the idea of acoustic harmony bringing some sort of resolution or at least tentative acceptance and tolerance for the conflicting members of a group.  Let’s just make music.

So, what else can we make musical?  Garbage dump supplies?  Been done.  Old buildings?  Yep, that’s taken.  A giant concrete seashore instrument?  I mean I love them, but they’re a dime a dozen.  How about the swine flu?  According to this article, it’s the next big thing.  After a little listen, I’m not so sure.  But the idea of viruses as encoding a natural music all their own…well, it’s just plain beautiful.

Corina told me she was utterly ashamed of me for not blogging about my experiences at the made-up superhero pub crawl this year.  I thought about it, but then I decided being known as Flamebow Brite to the entire internet community might not be a good idea.  Added to the fact that my sister thinks costumes make me look like a drag queen, I’d prefer to say very little and leave my excitement and joy to memory and what pictures are already widely available.  Instead, I’d like to point out a few of the things that the experience shows about me through song.  If I were a song, there would be a brassy trumpet involved.  Sometimes it would be loud, and totally dominate all other songs in the room, but that would only happen very rarely.  More often this trumpet would blare with no real rhyme or reason, almost like an accident on the part of the performer or the composer.  A slip of the pen here, and…..Whoa, trumpet!  There would be some other sounds – a nice bongo rhythm, a breathy set of pan pipes, a little base.  Solid, pleasing, and enjoyable if not genius – except for the occasional squaking trumpet.

So, what’s your song?

The Wilderless.

In the past, the United States was a country of edgeless borders.  Thousands struggled to make a new life on ‘the frontier’, wherever that was and whatever it meant.  We fell in love with the romance of the cowboy.  We dreamed of riches and desolation in the Yukon.  Our hearts followed the young men still challenging the wilderness of the deserts, the high places, and the swamps.  As we ran out of space to explore in our own country, many of us longed for something we thought we’d lost – an innocence of the uncivilized world, or a fierce Mother Nature to pit our strength and determination against.

However, all has not been lost.  There are still some few remaining tribes in odd little corners of the world, in the mountain places or the rainforest of Brazil and Peru, that have little to no contact with the outside world.  I say ‘little to no’ because I feel some contact is evident in our observation and tracking of these tribes.  If we are flying above them in small planes and taking pictures, that’s contact 9especially when they respond by drawing bows).  True, there are efforts to protect these tribes and their traditional land areas from deforestation and illegal logging, and efforts to prevent direct contact that might spread disease.  But even with the awareness and indirect observation of these groups, we are having an effect on them which we cannot predict or change.
I am not saying such tracking is wrong.  I just can’t help but wonder if our best intentions will be realized, or if we will lose once and for all the the wilderness we at one time dreamed of by caring for the last dwellers in those remote places.  I wonder if we can help but change things, as teh toolmakers and dreamers we are.

A New Photodea.

Every day on my walk to the bus stop, I walk along a low stone wall.  I’m not sure how it got there, or why, as it stretches across the property of a church, about 10 houses, and an apartment building.  Perhaps it is a piece of the original ‘beautiful hill’ of Belmont.  Regardless, it is one of the most interesting and visually intriguing aspects of my walk.  In this wall, there is variety.  Mosses and ferns grown in damp chinks of it.  The first rays of morning warm its stony top in others.  It is because of this wall, and the variety of perspectives that can be seen along it, that I got my new photo idea about perspective.

I want to take pictures from the wall all along its expanse, the things you will see from its top.  I want to contrast the weedy barrenness of a parking lot with the quiet cluster of a shady grove of trees with the stars of white violets in dark, rich grass with the isolation of one single tulip on the edge of a concrete expanse.  I want to examine what life looks like from the perspective of this wall.

And then I got to thinking, what else?  What about life from the branches of a tree, looking out from under its illuminated leaves?  Could that be interesting and beautiful?  And what about from a moving vehicle, like the bus I ride to work or the insides of subway tunnels?  What about the everyday scenes from my front porch, or the expression of a day as seen from one solitary park bench?

At about this time, Monotone was introduced.  Eureka!  Here’s the perfect forum for these new ideas!  And what other wonderful things could go with it?  Bits of poetry inspired by the scenes?  Snags of potentially related thought?  The delicately written features of whim and fancy?  I hope to explore the possibilities this weekend, possibly with a new blog if I get motivated.