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Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Making harmony out of death rattles" (a line from Barry Dempster's "Hard Song")


You can make harmony out of anything

if you set your mind to it.

You can walk past the ce-ment mix-er (putty-putty)

and hum a note in harmony with its endless racket

(they daren't turn those things off, you know, or the cement will set, effectively ending the mixer's

useful life).


You can add your sound to the noise of the subway,

the traffic,

even the jackhammer,

and the result is a harmony that brings your life together.


But I'd never thought of making harmony

from death rattles.

I'll be adding this to my imaginings

of how my death will be:

I will instruct that little band of survivors,

those attending the event,

to hum and tone and wail at the top of their lungs.

I'll urge them to add their living selves,

through the sounds of their bodies,

to the rattle of my dying breaths.


Thus will we face together the opening gate.

Thus will I be accompanied to the threshold.



Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Delicate Operation






Exploring the depths of life's possibilities

is a delicate operation

that should be approached with sensitivity.

And yet life is also a vigorous rush toward

experience and fulfillment.


What's really called for is balance.

Each of us alternates as needed,

one moment invoking our quiet hesitation

and the next throwing caution

where it belongs: to the wild winds.


Some of us spend more time in hesitation than in abandon,

but that's as may be.

We do what we can,

bounded as we are by Philip Larkin's parents,

by the karma of previous generations,

and by the speed with which we can overcome these

and recover the wise innocence of our true selves.




Sunday, December 18, 2016

Floating Thoughts

Any thoughts that float from my mind at this moment seem to drown (dead man's floats, obviously) on the way to the page.


And in the middle of that sentence a bubble of an idea emerged from my brain but I continued writing the sentence, ill-advisedly, and the bubble popped, its substance expanding microscopically into space, into the Universes, known and unknown. But now suddenly there appears a topic to consider: chi (qi).


We could contemplate the effect of sound on chi; the universal Ohm resonating through us all; and following on that the role of toning, of one's own individual sounds working on one's own individual energy system. This way of looking at sound suits me.


We form our world views, each of us, from rejected ideas (teachings we were force-fed as children) and from bits and pieces of truth, faith, and ideas that arrive from many sources. We spend our lives experimenting, winnowing, moving on, returning to the agglomerated wisdom that comes into our purview. Each of us develops a creed that determines how we live. It may not always be the optimum yet we continue, continue, changing and growing and (if we are lucky enough or wise enough) heeding the signs that will lead us to the next stage. And throughout this we are full of gratitude for the glorious opportunity to continue on in a life that includes robins, lilacs, linden trees, and snow angels.


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor