Friday, August 18, 2006

Coda: "Claire de Lune"

The thunderstorm is passing behind the ridge overlooking the house, the hills lit brilliantly for long seconds at a time as the force of nature tears itself apart. To the other side I see the moon, brilliant and sharp in focus over the Mediterranean.

It's not quite humid enough or menacing an atmosphere for the blues, though it is a sore temptation to lay on some Ry Cooder and go for a stroll among the prickly pear and palm. But this place is older, much older than the blues. Black, jagged rocks on the shore that can strip the flesh from the feet of the unwary, while the midday sun can squeeze the breath from the lungs with crushing weight.

Here, there's no place for the rusted, cast-off sounds of blues, of slide guitar and bottleneck. This is pre-mechanical.

Instead, to show the gods of this blasted earth the proper respect, I play something from the salons of Paris, a piece to calm the brutest heart and revive the sorriest spirit. And as the lights go out along the ridge, as the astronomers close the door on their telescopes and as the last moped blares past on the road from the bar, I prepare to close the day, to kiss my sleeping children and lay down to sleep, all to the sound of the whole of one man's eternal yearning.