Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Voice of March

This night is alive with the sound of chimes, mine and the others spread around the apartment complex, coming even as far away as the houses down on Leawood. At the park, even through the low and constant wail of the wind I can hear them. The small ones, light and bouncing bells, the sound of metal dandelions, their flowers plucked away, the wind rushing through their hollow stems. The heavy wooden ones cut from bamboo as thick as my wrist singing a brown song, earthy and deep, the tones of lost tribes. The ceramic ones with music that sounds like something on the verge of breaking––egg shells, perhaps, or ice, a frantic voice, urgent and fragile. And always the wind struggling to be heard over them, around and through them. The blood and breath of their voices. I wonder, does Duncan hear them as I do, patternless and chaotic yet somehow soothing? He pushes his nose against the ground as he walks, aware of things I know nothing about. I can smell the greening of the world, or the perfumes of other walkers, but it is a superficial sense compared to his. I think I know our walks, know the ways and where the wind blows the coldest and hardest. I know its melody and the harmony of the chimes which comes and goes, almost touching us through the night. But what do I miss, what have I not heard that Duncan has already memorized and hums in his dreams. His walk is the wiser one and on nights when March screams all around us, I wonder which of us is guiding the other.

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