Last night I watched the stars come out, amid the frantic buzzing of metal-jacketed orange insects who seemed intent on not permitting me photographically to commemorate the sight.
Other than the dive-bombing bugs, there was remarkably little noise but for the lilt and rustle of small birds. But for a few seconds I could have sworn I heard my daughter singing. (This daughter is a substantial Coast away.)
I’m pretty certain–let’s give it a 99% confidence interval (my son recently has briefed me on a mathematical issue involving statistics)–that only one member of my family can hit all the notes in the Star-Spangled Banner.
This would be the same family member who could sing well before she could speak, who uncannily replicated the sounds and measures of songs. The daughter who as a very rarely fussy infant could only be soothed by a song accompanied by a planet-shaped red toy surrounded by three teething rings attached to a jingling bell. The one who cracked us all up by launching into I Want to be Sedated from her baby seat.
She feels music.
(The thing I like best about the Star-Spangled Banner is the sewing aspect of the story behind it.)
Jim felt music, and our children all make music and no doubt feel it in their souls.
It was only comparatively recently when I learned music put my mother through college; she had never thought to mention being a professional musician on full scholarship (playing a double-reeded–and double-vowel–instrument she never could afford to own).
Music seems at least as evocative of memories as the Proustian sense of smell.
I had thought that the vast body of music that existed as of the time Jim died would be the music that reminded me of him. Not so.
I also hear new music from singers and bands he listened to (and to whom he introduced me and our children)–or never had the chance to hear–and find myself stymied at the thought that he will not hear this music: he would have enjoyed this song; he would have known the influences behind this one; he would have had this one playing in his truck, his right hand thumping against the underside of the steering wheel as he drove to work.
Most of all, he would have loved to hear our daughter’s beautiful, clear voice singing again.
(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon
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