“the sound of sunshine” & the seaside
Nature has always been our escape
from the hectic “civilized” world
that we hardly feel a part of.
As a visual artist (& visual thinker),
I had always been drawn to the beauty of a place:
the lush textures, the vivid colors,
the ever-changing sunsets,
those sorts of things.
Even my dreams lacked dialog
and were mostly visual spectacles.
Sometimes smells would overwhelm me cerebrally,
reminding me that strongly scent is tied to memory.
Yet sound was elusive, unnoticed, until fairly recently:
While in Boston, I had a roommate and good friend, Tiki,
who would play his guitar every morning while we drank coffee.
He was trying to sort out the unsorted issues in his life,
and used his acoustic guitar to seek solutions,
not realizing that he was sorting my mind as well.
Later that fall, while installing ‘the smurfhouse’ at i-Park,
I was camped out in a hemlock forest on their property.
Overnight, the sounds of pinecones falling,
bouncing their way down from hollowed limb to limb,
made the coolest symphony, as each “thünk, thünk, thünk”
was unique, depending on limb diameter and distance between them.
This was the first time I was profoundly affected by the sounds of nature.
Since then, this has become more of a common occurrence,
as my hearing has become more fine-tuned through use,
and I have sought the silence and subtle sounds nature provides.
Though some songs have struck my soul in special ways:
one of the first times I was hanging out with Mohamed,
he took me to the canyons in Sanaad, Bahrain,
a little patch of landscape amidst the over-populatation.
As sundown approached, we sat on the canyon’s edge
and the stray dogs settled down for their slumber;
the frogs began their sunset serenade,
overtaking the stillness with their vibration
expanding far beyond their diminutive scale.
For land as over-developed as Bahrain,
the frog’s singing was a wonderful escape
from the sounds of civilization.
Five years later, here we are in Portugal.
And the sounds of nature are our welcome escape
from the rumbles of bureaucracy and modern society.
Here, the seaside has been our first sanctuary;
astounding in its complex simplicity:
at Praia Barradinha,
the high tide dragging the stones
from the beach into their hungry waves.
and at the northern Praia in Zambujeira do Mar,
an underwater cave is exposed at low tide,
exhibiting a zen-like pool of sweet water
dripping from its sculpted stone ceiling.
And now that we have moved a bit inland,
to our hopeful home in the Valley of Bamboo,
we awaken to another secluded symphony:
songbirds’ morning-song amidst the strumming stream,
creating an ideal soundtrack for an artists’ retreat.