Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ella Fitzgerald and the Carolina Wren

When I’m in a somewhat blue or reflective mood, music is often my soul-searching companion.  If I want to continue further-on-down this reflective path, I’ll put on some Joni Mitchell or Bill Evans.  Ms. Mitchell will start my day; Mr. Evans will turn dusk into late night.

And when ennui is the only benefactor of my contemplative mood, no one sings me into a playful spirit like Ella Fitzgerald. I listen to her song and find myself typing at the keyboard, tapping keys and thoughts to the richness of her voice.  Her human song fills my life with the productivity that only possibility can create.  Possibility is so much more productive than hope.

Ella Fitzgerald’s legendary life sang a tune of possibility and triumph.  She belted out her life’s song in a world so filled with constraints and prejudices toward a lead female vocalist.  She was unstoppable in voice when the human world overflowed with bad behavior directed at a talented woman whose skin happened to be a rich dark-chocolate brown. 

And when Ms. Fitzgerald opened her mouth to sing, her voice was a wonder to all who heard it.  She tilted her head back and sang with her whole body.  So pitch-perfect and crystal clear was her voice that the stories continue of the best jazz musicians tuning their instruments to it. Sing it she could like no one else; and the world stopped and listened.  And the world was better for it. 

But more than any human music, nothing pulls me away from a somewhat narcissistic mood like a day’s walk with Mother Nature.  Binoculars, camera and daypack are my tools.  But it is my eyes and ears that give Her my full attention.  I watch and listen to a bird’s world, so perfectly created and lived, with no need for involvement from my tiny human life, except to NOT wreak havoc with human footprint.

I walk and am flooded with the bigness of creation.  I hear many a different bird's call and springtime Aves song. But there is always one song that causes all others to fade into the background.  The voice is easily found as the song is sung from a perch that serves as an acoustic resonator that all Broadway stages would envy. 

The song is rich and loud; its ring and echo are crystal clear and pitch perfect.  The voice is that of the Carolina Wren.

I stop and listen to the Carolina Wren.  I hear the harmonic echo of a mate’s response.  If I’m really lucky I get clear view of the Carolina Wren’s Broadway-stage perch. I see a head tilted backward; a bill fully open and a chest quivering in song. I see a beautiful Carolina Wren singing with an entire body devoted to the gift of song.

And there she is.  Ella Fitzgerald.  Her bigger-than-life voice is calling from the Carolina Wren’s song. 

Sing it they can like no one else; and I stop and listen. My life is better for it.

1 comment:

  1. I felt like I was on a tour of beauty when I read this. Thanks for being so expressive!


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