Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow?

On a sort of continued note from the last blog, think about all the language you encounter in a day. In our day-to-day lives, we are barraged with information almost constantly, that we have no choice but to read. We can't look at wording on signs, labels, book spines, or products without reading them, it's the natural instinct as our eyes flick over their surface. It seems interesting to me that we have adapted in such a way that reading is so instinctive and crucial to functioning. I wonder how different the world looks to those who are illiterate. The only comparable experience I can think of would be imagining oneself in a place that uses an unfamiliar alphabet. I guess thats the reason symbols and colors are such intregal parts of society. Most road signs or fixtures render it nearly unneccessary to read. I guess thats because colors, shapes, and images are easier and quicker to comprehend than text for most people.
I guess sound is the same as that, but a thousand fold. It is nearly impossible to ignore sound without the assistance of another sound, or something plugging up your ears. I wonder if deaf people are generally calmer, without the anxiety of constant noise being pumped into their consciousness.
There have been a few things that have stuck with me a lot in the past month, one of them being the poem that is the namesake for this blog (search:'my sweet old etcetera' by e.e. cummings.) I don't know why, just something about the spacing and the syntax of the poem, the rhythm and surprising occasional rhyme. It just gets me. Also, the songs "Hide and Seek" and "Let Go" have been really mesmerizing to me lately. I can listen to either on repeat for extended periods of time before needing to change the song. I think the unifying theme of these songs and that poem is the sort of deep, almost instinctive, internal thump or sway or whatever you'll call it, the feeling that seizes you and settles in, becoming part of you. I feel the same way when I finish the poem again, or when the song ends: a sort of arythmic surprise and hollowness, not realizing how attatched you'd become to the thing until you sense its absence. I think that's how some of the best people operate, subtly and quietly remaining, never acknowledged until one day, they're missing.

I wonder if escaped helium balloons ever meet, high above and out of sight. I'd like to think they do.


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