Wind Chimes

the older, revived wind chimes, hanging from the maple in front

Janet likes wind chimes in the trees around our house. We have gone through two sets (retired) over the years, and I just revived a third set by restringing the chimes and jury-rigging a clapper (the rain and weather had rotted the original string, and the clapper had actually fallen/blown away). We also had bought, before I got around to resuscitating the older set, some new chimes (back on that day we visited a garden center in Bettendorf and I discovered the infamous boy-humping-frog statue. So we have two sets hanging in the yard this year, front and on the west side.

our new, less sonorous wind chimes in the maple on the western side of the house

Unfortunately, until lately we hadnʼt really heard them much (almost not at all) the whole summer. Itʼs been so hot. Our new air conditioner pretty well muffles (better yet — drowns out) exterior noise. However, with the awakened winds about which I commented on Wednesday, and the sudden chilliness at night, we have heard our chimes ringing merrily and wildly for about a week now. The Lovely One adores the experience, and although the first night without the white noise of fan or climatiseur (which I think was a week ago on Thursday) I was afraid I might not fall asleep (as oddly I did not on Monday night, lingering in wakefulness until well after 2:00 a.m. and thus canceling my morning run on Tuesday, only hours later — yet, equally oddly, I wrote a bunch on Tuesday), the sounds of the chimes in the wind did lull me into the arms of Morpheus.

Shelley was enamored of Aeolian harps, referring to the wind-caused music of those things almost too often in his poetry. As a youngster I had no idea what such an instrument sounded like, so I always associated them with wind chimes (not entirely irrelevantly). I think the notion of wind chimes and Shelley combined have lurked behind some of my celestial music references in my own verse. At least I have thought of some of those lines as the wind chimes have uttered their sweet notes over the past week and more.

We sat out in the driveway, discussing possible vacation plans on Monday evening, and the chimes tinkled and rang while we talked and looked at travel guides. They had played erratic, lovely tunes audible in the living room while we talked with Dawn and Kevin. And their delicate little peals fill my (otherwise tinnitus-assaulted) ears as I type right now. (Not on topic, but, boy, has the tinnitus gotten worse in the last week or so, squealing and buzzing and ringing loudly enough I can miss some quiet sounds. It was especially obnoxious, I noticed, on Tuesday, after my sleepless night, which may well have been due to the nonexistent racket wrangling in my hearing. Anyway, one dread I have with this horrible little symptom is that I will miss delicate pretty sounds like the wind chimes.) I had as a single, young man not perceived myself as a wind-chime kind of guy, but having obeyed the whims of The Lovely One and purchased a set twenty years back (or more), I have come to enjoy the traceries of bell-like near-melody the wind can weave with them, even the periodic and erratic clangors of gale-induced clamorous cacaphony that crescendo on gusty days.

I have no real point, although my active tiny mind has started to contemplate connections between the loveliness of the chimes and the wild, hissing sibilance that isnʼt really there ringing in my personal sensorium. Hearing the chimes is lovely and fine, but I can do so because the tinnitus has gotten me to not listen to music much during the days. Am I losing my auditory enjoyment? The wind chimes are tolling otherwise, but some days I begin to wonder.

I had always thought that losing my vision would for me be the worst fate (a little too much of Milton in my youth, I think). But I do treasure what I hear as well (whatʼs truly there to hear, that is). And that is a rather downer ending to  what I had intended as a delicate little piece on heard (but random) melodiesʼ sweetness. sorry about that.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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