Pitch Perfect

     Across the yard a single leaf trembles and the palsy passes on from tender limb to limb. There is no corresponding tempo in the adjoining greenery. The steps of this dance are performed alone. The white wreathed faces of Shasta daisies blush a mustard yellow but the heat of that complexion does not turn their heads. The amethyst beards of moneyed irises are soldered in burnished karats to emerald stems, rising, yet static upon the burnt umber earth. The distant leaves stir and sway in a still air. A closer inspection shows no insect or avian influence. There is no illusion or magician’s trick to be exposed under the bright light of day. This singular isolated rhythm, this pas de une, seems a syncopated mystery in the heat hazed yard.

     The long days of summer, sun filled and as yet evening cool, stretch out in front and behind.  The sleepy afternoons are filled with new ideas and combinations of lovely, lovely words. Books are an old friend, my first love really. Saviour or scapegoat, friend or enemy, whatever else they have been, books remain doors that open up the world both around and within myself.

     We all have a love for the things that strike the note that vibrates to our individual pitch. For some it sings a smoky diesel tune that hums along interlocking cogs while pistons clef the staff and determine the tempo. For others the sharp tang of the holy trinity…onions, celery and bell pepper…is the savory altar they worship at.  For many the hymn is the song itself. It is not necessary to understand the notes played but it is a certainty that there are as many true loves as there are hearts. For me the perfect note has always been and will always be the written word.

     As the years have passed this old love of mine has been continually packaged up in bright new boxes with a pretty new ribbons. The gift inside, in all its variations, has never changed. There is no single heart that beats beneath the breast of my revisited love. As always, there are a thousand hearts that beat out the inky tattoo. I am never discouraged when I bite a bad one and find half a worm in the white flesh of the pages. I simply spit it out and dig another indulgence out of the bushel. It is a hunger that never totally fades and so I feed at the trough of literature until I’m bloated with narrative.

     June afternoons redolent with the sweet scents of ripening wheat have ebbed into the up sweep of July’s race to the longest day. The dog days of summer, hunch ruffled and teeth bared, wait just past that apex crouching on the slope only a score of tomorrows away. Looking up from the last page of a chapter my eyes are caught by the movement of a single bush dancing by itself, perhaps in a breeze I don’t feel or to a note I don’t hear. Who can say? I turn the page to begin the next chapter of my book.  My foot taps out a rhythm as I move deeper into the story and then I’m dancing alone, to the harmony of my own note.  

13 thoughts on “Pitch Perfect

    I always seem to come away from here feeling like I\’ve been given something that will make me a better person.
    Thank you for that.
    The toad in the picture below just seems so resigned. His eyes say nothing but "Well, this seems to be it, then." He doesn\’t seem confused or afraid or startled or anything. I\’d like to think that I\’ll be that accepting when my death is near. Sooooooooo interesting.
    Thanks for stopping by; we\’ve both been laying a little low, haven\’t we?
    I visited the Talbotville (?) site; what a kind and generous gift for your sister. I was going to be a smart aleck and tell you that your sister and brother-in-law look a lot like Woody and that other guy from "Toy Story," but then I saw those boys\’ smiles and decided I\’d tell you how beautiful your nephews are, instead.
    I hope they get a million-dollar donation from a generous, anonymous benefactor.
    Turns out I was such a…


  2. I used to get that absorbed in my reading…Now i guess I have a shorter attention span or I am more tired as i read and drift off to sleep and what i read becomes incorporated into my dream time.


  3. Yours is the first blog I have visited, and like you, I have had a love for reading all my life.  The word is powerful. Lives change, new ideas form and best of all, we can sometimes enter a new, different, enthralling life that we would never have known otherwise.  Your own combination of words is, to me, like examining a unique painting slowly in awe of the combination of colors and technique.  Blogging may turn out to be one of the best of the internet advantages I will enjoy.   Kachina


  4. Hey, I have been here 4 times in 5 days and I haven\’t been able to form an opinion or come up with a literary comment on this entry . What is up with that ? Nonetheless this piece is part and parcel of your awesomeness as a writer …


  5. @Toad
    I think it must be the rhythm of summer…it seems to be happening everywhere =)
    I feel the same way about you ;P
    I just checked and there is a faint heartbeat…the state of flux around here lately has been…well, interesting to say the least. I hope all is well on your side of the ocean.
    Thanks for stopping by. I\’d love to return the favour so the next time you come by leave me a trail to follow and I\’ll return the visit.
    I like the idea of a story line incorporated into the dream theme…it\’s like having a guest author for your subconscious.
    @Sweet Never Speechless Kay
    I would have saved the toad if I could but just like you the look in his eyes told me it was too late. We did clean up the wood pile at the side of the shed as that is probably where the snake was living. Hopefully it will move on now that its home has been disturbed. A garden needs toads more so than snakes I think.
    I have been laying low. Things are moving and shaking around here and the resulting tremors have made it a little hard to find the right frame of mind. So many changes in such a short time…anyhow
    The Talbotville project is still on going. We\’re in a very humid snap up here and it\’s had an effect on the construction schedule. Still there\’s been a great deal of progress. The boys are home from Easter Seals camp and they\’re thrilled with everything. It was a great surprise for them. Unfortunately I wasn\’t able to be there for the big reveal but I did see a brief segment on the news and talked to my sister since then and they were all blown away with the generosity and kindness of everyone involved.
    Thanks so much for your kind wishes. I know things are pretty crazy out your way. Life is like that isn\’t it. I\’m sending some warm thoughts your way as well.
    @Veggie Burger
    Thanks…I like your name. It\’s very original!


  6. How easy it seems for you to come up with the perfect words and the perfect sentence structure… everything you write flows so beautifully and evokes such feelings of peace and wonder.  You are truly gifted.  Your pictures are wonderful too… I love the one of the deer.  We used to have them in our yard all the time when I lived in the Catskills.


  7. @Edie
    We\’re in deer central around here so we see them quite a bit. I wouldn\’t want them to be in my yard though. I don\’t think my hostas would survive it. I have a family of rabbits (mom and 2 babies) living behind the raspberry canes and we\’ve managed to work out a living arrangement. They usually ignore me unless I have the dog with me and I admire them from afar.


  8. Hey there, you let me have the escape I seek. I do not have the time right now to sit and enjoy my surrondings as much as I\’d like to, let alone photograph and write about such peaceful things. As you can see on my space my pics are all busy busy busy. You inspire me and give me the exact escape I long for so often. I love my life and would not change it to be that solo girl who used to cry about not having a husband or babies to love. Yes she had plenty of time to read and write . . . but she was never as happy as this girl is!!
    Thank-you. To you an art and a way of life . . . . but to me my sanity and my escape. I really auta (how do you spell that word?) start every morning at 4 am with yoga, cardio dance and one of your refreshing stories!!


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