The Wayfarer’s Song, Installment 3

November 5, 2014

An Experiment in point of view

I admit that I mimic the great poets and embellish their sensibilities; competitors and former friends say I am an imposter still masked. Men learn to mimic with their mouths the trilling notes of birds long before they are able to join together in tuneful song. It was akin to the whistling of the breeze through hollow reeds that taught the Ancients to blow through hollow hemlock stalks. After that the wayfarer, troubadours and jongleurs, and wandering minstrels (or nomads like myself) learned by slow degrees the plaintive melodies that with the touch of a player’s fingers flow from the flute.

Coordinated action throughout evolution, I believe, comes to us today in call and response songs inherited from prehistoric kinfolk. Employed to foster “muscular” bonding, these musical dialogs trigger elemental human emotions: love, hate, and fear. We reflect patterns of human communications with a succession of a call phrases in our provincial tongues, the langue d’oc, followed by a direct comment or response. If the sun smiles upon us, then comes the time for joking, talking, and merry laughter. I speak of the heyday of the rustic muse, when he dances out of step, moving limbs clumsily with feet stamping on mother earth.

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