Light and Sound

My satellite radio is tuned to classical music. Soothing. Not intrusive. Classical music represents beauty, harmony, peace. Passages of music catch the periphery of my consciousness. I know this piece, I think. The fourth movement of the Sibelius second symphony. I greet it as an old friend.

The music fades into the background like the Whittington chimes of my grandfather clock that sound every fifteen minutes. I often don’t hear the clock chime. Sometimes I hear the clock’s whisper soft ticktock.

My neighborhood is quiet. I don’t hear noise from neighbors. I rarely see people walking in the street. Few cars pass by. Occasionally, the faraway wail of a siren, the roar of a diesel truck.

‘ ” ” ” ” ” ” ‘‘ ‘‘ ” ” ” ‘indian-wells-valley

Coming into the Indian Wells Valley for the first time. I was impressed by the barrenness of the High Desert landscape. The majestic vistas bathed in brilliant sunlight. Three hundred thirty plus days a year. The Sunshine Capital of The U.S., proclaims a sign greeting people driving from the north into the little town of Inyokern. I can live in this valley, I thought. And, I did. For ten years.

Arriving like an unwelcome guest, a ferocious wind from the north, hissing and roaring, mindless of boundaries, blows a seething cloud of particulate from the dry bed of Owens Lake. The wind shatters the quiet. The particulate hangs in the sky like a gray pall, a mass of depression, heavy and dense, obscuring the brilliant sunlight.

“People know what they do; they often know why they do what they do.
What they don’t know is what they do does.”
Michel Foucault

0 thoughts on “Light and Sound

  1. Davyd Morris

    If you go far enough up the Owens River Valley, you can almost see the ghosts of the sylvan paradise that the old-timers (now long gone) said it was before Mulholland’s folks sucked it dry.

    Reply
  2. Anna Stewart

    Sounds like a lovely moment with the music and the memories. Don’t think I’ve been to Indian Wells Valley but your description is powerful…loved the last line with the gray pall.

    Reply
  3. Joan Raymond

    I love the comparisons with light and sound. Funny how one gets used to certain sounds like clocks chiming every fifteen minutes or trains, and they eventually fade and go unnoticed.

    I think landscapes and scenery do the same after a while. When one lives in a place for a long enough time, sadly it too loses it’s splendor.

    Thank you for the vivid descriptions of the “Sunshine Capital of The U.S.”

    Reply
  4. iola

    My two oldest children, now 23 and 22 both went to school in Inyokern. We lived in the area for over five years and believe it or not we missed it very much when we moved to northern Colorado. There is nothing quite so beautiful as a sunrise in that high desert.

    Reply
  5. Annis

    I enjoyed this piece, Dennis. A favorite line: “Arriving like an unwelcome guest, a ferocious wind from the north, hissing and roaring, mindless of boundaries, blows a seething cloud of particulate from the dry bed of Owens Lake.”

    Thank you. xoA

    Reply

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