Monday, March 17, 2014

Much Ado about NOTHING

All of 34 degrees (1.111 C) right now. Summer seems a long way off in these frigid days. Here's something I wrote a few years ago and came across again recently. It helped me to remember what warm weather is like.


Last night: It was hot, the windows were open and my next-door neighbor was playing his tabla, a percussion instrument used in classical Indian music. (He's not Indian, by the way.) I didn't mind. It made me think of my college days, when I used to listen, occasionally, to Ravi Shankar albums, which made me feel sultry and international—never mind any subzero temperatures outside. This despite the fact that I had (and have) no real understanding of this type of music. It was just a sound to me, useful for changing the mood of a room or a situation. Perhaps this was a form of passive imperialism, an exploitation of another culture's musical heritage to create a faux-sophisticated aural wallpaper. (Although I'm sure Shankar appreciates his Western album sales, however clueless his fans are about what they're listening to.) Last night it was too hot to bother with such qualms. My mind was empty--a blank, a tabula rasa. Or a tabla rasa.

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