Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It was late at night and it was very dark. The clouds were hidden behind a thick layer of fog and the world moved around her in only three colors: black, gray and white. The roads were nearly deserted, just a bus with its hazard lights on blinked quietly as she passed. And she drove on, driving up the twisted road that skirted like an asphalt snake along the edge of San Bruno mountain, her car’s headlights outlining the bulbous forms of gray clouds that enveloped her like a hungry ghost made of mist and sheets of moisture. There was a musical piece on the radio, an electronic composition without words that seemed so tender, coming right from the unknown heart of its creator and entering hers with an unrelenting curiosity to see what lay open in the late hour. Small tears pricked her eyes as she reached the crest of the hill. The music was too beautiful, how could something like this arrive to fit the moment so well? This was music for the tender dark hours, when night and day blend into one. When the sleeping and the awakened dance between clouds of fog and pull dreams from the void. The music held her, as though the notes themselves were made to caress her curvaceous tears, as though the notes knew why she would cry and they pulled the tears out with a little more force, taking her with them on their voyage through time. As the road flattened out, she suddenly realized she might never know the composer, another song would come on and the beauty of what she had just heard would remain forever in her memory, encapsulating the moment like a dream. Someone, somewhere had made this music, and that person would never know that now, there was a girl driving in a small black truck in the middle of the night, going home. She could never tell them that the notes cast themselves around her like a magic circle, holding her as no other piece of music could. It was made for this. It was this. She was that, and it was her. It took her hand and led her down a psychedelic road where owls feed and coyotes sometimes wander. It held her in its palm, a loving teacher that pulled on her metal gates just a little more. “Open up,” it said. And whoever made this piece…they would never know. What were they doing right now? Sleeping? Eating? Working? Making love? The infinite consequences of their creation were unknowable. Once born, the creation had its own life, moving through time, radio, stereos, ears…moving into and out of perception…being heard by some, being shut off by others. Were there others crying? Others dancing? A thousand ways this piece could go…its creator would never know.
The consequences of what we create are unknowable. We create for the sake of creating, we do for the sake of doing, and then, it is sent, it goes out into the world, drifting like a carefully constructed leaf in the wind. Will someone catch it? Will it go straight to the sea, straight to the blue waves that will swallow up the orange and yellow and green? Or maybe it will drift to land with the high tide, and perhaps a little girl will pluck it from the ocean foam. And maybe it will end up in her collage of thoughts and dreams and her memory of changing seasons. There is just no way to tell what will happen, so we just let them go. Just as we were once let go, like tears already dispersing into the fog before the song that provoked them has come to an end, like ribbons of stardust dancing in the bottomless void of the infinite night.

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