Sunday, January 02, 2000

Sonic Lives Leave Sonic Booms

I once had a teacher who delivered a summation of 20th century world history as the culmination of advances in contraceptive techniques. Depending on one’s interest, history may be described through the varying disciplines of politics, war, religion, art, or gender relations –to name but a few choices.

So setting aside the lasting effects of World War II, the subsequent cold war, the nuclear arms race, the space race, the civil rights movement, feminism, the invention of the automobile and interstate, the development of capitalism, communism, globalism, and the increasingly widespread distribution of fresh water, electricity and human rights across the globe, apparently one may dispense with all that and rather convincingly argue that the story of all human achievement may be summed within the story of The Pill.

But I only mention this in passing because this blog examines life through a different filter than one is usually accustom: It is an examination of life connected by distinctly appreciable and audible moments, though not necessarily in chronological order –We live in a non-linear age after all. For now, let us imagine the first gasp of breath to the last, and all the music in between.

I think that even those without a proclivity for music must have a deep, biological connection to sound. What else accounts for the murmur of nostalgia? –Soft but present critical noise –like whispers– though barely detectable they nonetheless endure in memory.

You were born and you cried, and would like to believe that though that cry is now many years distant, it too still exists. That, indeed, it will even out live you, that sound waves never die. That instead, they continue to spread across the universe, growing thinner, and ever fainter, ever fainter, but never ending. And that though some lives are quieter than others, I believe that –like jets– every life produces and leaves in its wake a sonic boom.

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Photo collage by Terry O'Gara

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