Friday, June 26, 2009


Yesterday evening, in the deep silence that can grow beneath looming clouds after a heavy rain, the warbler who controls this territory - and who happened to be in either the chestnut tree or one of the cedars near my window - chose to perform his usual sunset medley of old Warbler favorites, which is basically a bar or two of one melody that loops back into itself over and over, but he does miracles with it, like 'Trane with a sax, occupying the air with splendor.

So he began, his honey-and-cream voice filling up the hungry silence with lyrical magnificence, the very same daDada, daDada, daDada, daDada, daDadaDadadada that Ludwig used to such joyous effect in his Pastorale, where it segues into that birdflight melody conveying the sweet and timeless serenity to be found in rural oases, but which in the actual warbler's case traditionally only curls back into its own beginning in repetitive loops, to which nothing much has been added over the eons.

As though the warbler had recognized this very fact, this lack of change since way long ago, all of a sudden the beauty stopped and a kind of sadness fell upon the silence as everything just hung there waiting for more, the warbler now and then doodling vocally as though trying to regain his chops while pondering something profound for a warbler... After about 30 seconds of this, a long duration in warbler time, he began to sing again, only now in what must be the Warblerian equivalent to - in our own time - Johnny Ray, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Elvis Presley et al.

He began right off with a riff I've never heard before, completely violating the Warblerian canon, going off completely on his own, winging it into tuneville, and it was quite a show for a minute or two, when he seemed to come to his senses, shake his head and return to himself and his ways, his culture, who he was up there in that tree and what his duties and obligations were to his kind, his task of declaring whatever it was he'd been declaring as an official representative of the Warblerians, and he picked up once more the tune Ludwig had made such wonderful human use of, resuming it perhaps with a tear in his eye at what might have been; but the seed had been planted in the young Warbler ears around.

As for me, I was suddenly nostalgic for the 50s...

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