Shaun’s cerebral ranting…

a new american rhetoric, please




girl made of song


A Girl Made of Song

Somewhere near the beginning of me, a complicated sadness crept in, like light blue fog in the early evening of a too short winter’s day. And then later, a long honey colored summer dawn, an odd, haunted sort of gladness crept in as well.  I think it began with this melody, sung with my father, many nights on the precipice of sleep:

From here on up, the hills don’t get any higher

From here on up, the hills don’t get any higher

But the hollows get deeper and deeper…

On the last note, my father’s bell-clear voice rolled down into his chest and echoed there – long, lithic and smooth as a river snaking – while my voice climbed the octave, or sometimes the fifth – the trill of a bird on the rim of a canyon.  Together, both melancholy and hopeful, we would repeat this three-line refrain – our bedtime prayer of acceptance, of faith in the abiding struggle simply to live.

So, I learned to pay attention to echoes, to the pattern of sounds, the reflected meanings of our many layered voices down in the hollows and up on the ridgelines of our awareness.

I think I have lived my whole life inside the colors, the texture, the rhythm of that song.  Or, did I live it all at once, back when I was small, and all the passing years have been only ripples in the water of time?  Or, did I sing it out with surety then because all that is my voice had gone before me, in that song inside all the voices before mine?  I lose track of time.  I am not good with directions.  Things moving in space do not seem to have a central point of reference.  The echoes, the harmonies and the blending colors of my experience seem unbound by the forms and constructions of time as my body perhaps understands it.


I remind myself that the only true choice I ever have is to savor each little stretch of melody that enlivens me for the time it takes to sing me, and that one day I will perhaps become the song inside another girl.

That song is the spell that cast me. When I try to imagine myself, there is something about me that is always lost on the wind – just a memory of a girl, or the memory of a song about a girl.  I stand on the edge of myself, listening; the impression of the song lingers on the updraft.  And I want to be so quiet – as quiet as possible – so that I might hear that beautiful, gentle song as it passes by.

time is amazing



From here on up, the hills don’t get any higher

But the hollows get deeper and deeper…

…one more thing…

He twinkled.