Sunday, March 4, 2018

concertinas and bag pipes

For reasons unknown, I awoke this morning thinking of concertina music. Not any particular tune, just the warp and weft of the concertina.

"Concertinas," my mind said with that bullshit certainty that a confused teenager might lay on the world, "are built for love songs. Bagpipes, the concertina's near cousin, are made for the shimmering appearance of Aunt Agatha's ghost. They are very different animals, concertinas and bagpipes, and yet both are suited to the jig ... a family matter indeed."

Of what use or consequence this line of thinking might be, still there was something inviting about the topic.

Oh yes, and there was fog or mist footnoting the scene. Misty-moisty, half-sad love ... misty-moisty apparitions that no one, drunk or sober, could deny.

I guess I was in a fairy-tale mode.

What a strange expression: "I will never forget...."

In the army, I was convinced that I would never forget the sound of a .30 caliber bullet exploding out of an M-1 rifle. I was convinced I would never forget it in all its specificity. The sound had been ground in like salt in a wound. I would never forget ... and yet, when the annual deer season picks up around here, there are gunshots in nearby corn fields and I don't know, except intellectually, that it's not a .30 caliber. Long-gun hunting is not allowed, I think, so the sounds are probably those of various shotguns.

Would a soldier who had seen combat forget the smell of burning flesh? I imagine not and yet I also imagine that even a person who had never smelled burning flesh might somehow instinctively know the smell, even for the very first time.

I will never forget the joy or sorrow ... and yet I do forget ...

And then wake in the morning to dreams of concertinas and bagpipes and other ghosts.

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