It hardly seems worth it, poot. Here I am, sitting among the temple's mossy ruins, a green heart in a blue world, contemplating the lost glories of a bygone age, trying to fashion a harp out of this felled limb and these broken strings, asking myself, what music should I make? I hear a jay walking loudly in the gutter overhead, looking for bugs in the reeking sediment. His pal hisses in the birch -- must be a cat around. Tell me, does it make sense to compose odes to beauty when beauty fries the senses and leaves one speechless? You say, yes. You say that we still have the sound of words, the semblance of speech. I ask you, what good is it without meaning?
Look. You have the boy and the girl playing badminton on the short, tough grass that covers the septic field in the yard down the block. Running back and forth, giggling in the hazy sunlight. The shuttlecock inscribes a bright arc over the net when lifted by the boy's racket, hovers for a tantalizing moment, then falls. The girl takes two strides left, swings her racket lazily and smacks the plastic feathered cone high into the air toward her partner. He responds by lofting it once again. The sequence repeats, over and over, the two figures lunging and swooshing in the heavy air. My eyes follow the shuttlecock as it weirdly ascends and dives. You say her racket kisses it. I say his smacks it.
A couple of days ago a private plane went down, into a rain-swollen creek near Sussex Airport. Rescue was difficult but emergency crews got the two injured men out of the aircraft and airlifted them by helicopter to Morristown Memorial in good time -- both are expected to fully recover. You tell me about the incident, then you say, "The world looks so different from a plane. The curve of the earth, the smallness of our dwellings, the vast swatches of empty land. Then there's the rush you get when you take off and climb up into the sky. I can understand why people love to fly. Even though it can be so dangerous."
"Flying isn't anywhere near as dangerous as driving," I say. "If you really want thrills just go out on that stretch of I-80 between the Garden State and Wayne. You take your life into your hands."
We go on and on, talking like this, about nothing, really, amid the temple's cracked statuary and fallen idols, making noise while the mazy world goes on its merry way. I once thought it was important to find meaning in these conversations of ours, but now I'm not sure, poot. Perhaps it's enough simply to keep them going. Unless you think somebody else is going to make music today?