Tuesday, July 20, 2004


During these summer mountain nights it is so silkenly silent in the so dark that only when an occasional animal-- for example the deer on his way to eat my biwa tree-- disturbs a sleeping insect is there a chirpy harrumph of complaint; then all falls once again to a silence perhaps broken only softly by the rhythmic crunch of biwa leaves.

But comes first light, and even Wagner is way outclassed. Forget every chorus you ever heard. Each dawn at this time of year (rich summer days) and in this type of locale (i. e. where nature resides), as soon as there's enough light for life at large to realize that the light has returned, it is a moment of big celebration (I'm still here!).

It is as though a big baton is raised into the deepest part of the silence, then with the downstroke about 30 million frogs and insects open their throats as one in a chorus of infinite parts, from the pipsqueaks to the basso profundos, all a cappella and all without a score, creating what I would describe as a soundsheen of organically cacophonic anarchy replete with every sonic extreme that is shrill and sheer.

It elevates your eyelids even more effectively than a rooster olympics, yet isn't irritating, because you know it will last only until it gets bright enough that everybody's embarrassed at having carried on so raucously and openly right next to their also normally staid neighbors, who were as well unabashedly belting out the big notes, everyone so chagrined that they sound off only now and then during the rest of the day.

The brief but intense chorale-blast is really quite invigorating, like a soundshower for sleepy ears.


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