April 2018

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NL #27: Sounds like home

NL #27: In my dreams, I am a 25 year-old African-American man running gracefully by walkers struggling to drag their tired bodies through an endless series of white arches. I fly above a sea or a river, able to see someone I love in trouble below me but unable to help them. I walk across a dessert, through a nest of snakes, realizing that though they may bite me, they will not harm me. When I awake, I am often confused. Where am I? Who am I?

My dreams seem to be silent, so the sounds of the world around me help me locate myself in place and time. I love the sounds of my Seattle block. Old Cadillacs thump and bump themselves down the street. Tennagers returning from the park bounce their basketballs up the sidewalk andyounger ones pedal their big wheels, the sounds of their wheels scratching on the asphault. A three year-old stops the adults ccompanying him to announce: "I want to play...[footstomp]. Now." Songbirds take their places on the scale, and crows make that knocking sound with their throats. Antique planes fly overhead. The drone of commercial planes sounds more distant.

If I'm in our suburban home in Raleigh, NC, where I grew up, the birds try to outdo one another singing, and the crickets have their own chirping contest. It's the natural world of the Southern piney woods, and it's loud.

If I'm in El Salvador, I hear the six others in the room with me, the children mumbling in their sleep and the adluts breathing through their mouths. Roosters crow. (I don't know who created the myth about roosters crowing at dawn. In my experience, they crow all night. Right outside my window.) I hear the tinny trill of Mexican music on a tape player; the slap, slap,slap of women making papusas.

If I'm in Michoacan, I hear bicycles on a gravel road and a barking dog chasing a flying pig, the steam of tortillas on the grill.

And at the beach in NC, I hear the continuous thrum of the ocean touching the shore, the bass drum of thunder, the high pitched squeals of children running from the waves' foam.

The world sounds me back to my self and my home, and I am glad to be here. Mary

1 comment:

  1. You'll think I'm stalking you since I'm trying to catch up on your blog. I'm comfortable with that if you are. Anyway, I love how this entry transports me to each of the places you're describing. I stopped at the papusas, though, cuz those just needed to be eaten right then and there.


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