Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Vibration

Some lines of poetry pop up often in my interior monologue. These are from high school, when I first read Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology."

"The earth keeps some vibration going
There in your heart, and that is you."

The poem is about Fiddler Jones, whose crops languished while he played music at every party and dance. He ended up with a "broken fiddle, a broken laugh, a thousand memories and not a single regret." It is the epitaph of one who chose the artistic life, or one, I should say, whose artistic life was  chosen for him:

"And if the people find you can fiddle
Why fiddle you must for all your life."

Such is not my fate. No one is dragging me away from press releases to write the Great American Essay. But I do wake up with internal music, a vague but pulsing beat. It says hurry up, get in, get busy. And on days that propel me from bed directly to the office — without even a quiet moment to sip tea and write my post in a dark, quiet living room — this is how I feel: that the earth has kept some vibration going while I was asleep and  when it grew too strong it woke me up.

The vibration is not artistry calling. It is duty calling. I have been reduced to to-do's. How to change the vibration? That's what I'm wondering now.

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