Saturday, June 22, 2013

The sounds of. . . you guessed it

The things you hear in southern West Virginia are like the things you hear in South Carolina, but seemingly denser, more saturated, rasping, tactile at times.

1. Frogs in the Evening
Croak happily, finally active after their daily repose, a chorus of variously pitched voices singing in complex counterpoint.

2. Carlessness
Perhaps the most welcome of sounds, no tires screeching or engines revving to distract from true hearing, no roars or sirens or crashes or squeals agitate the ear.

3. Rain
Arriving unexpectedly, as the volatile relative who is embraced for his warmth and despite his cantankerousness. Falling smoothly and evenly, the rain crescendos and diminuendos; thunder rolls, crashes or peals in sforzando accents, climaxing in a mountain torrent that soaks to the soul.

4. Country Music
Difficult to endure, aesthetically, yet fascinating anthropologically. Stylistically varied yet hemmed in like a polycultural cow-field surrounded by electrified barbed wire. Self-consciously limited "universality" and the obligatory twang in the sound are fundamental hallmarks.

5. The River
Greenbrier by name, its white noise is akin to rain, but with a power of movement capable of complete mental/spiritual obliteration. The ego is erased in the River, its rapids battering and humbling, its eddies soothing, its shallows enticing with illusory knowableness, its depths hungry and inevitable.