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  • PERSPECTIVE: The Ringing, Part Two

         I recently wrote about a ringing which appeared unexpectedly in my life. It was in my ear, and by default, it acted as a mediator between me and the world I heard. Well, I no longer hear the ringing. I can't tell whether it is only because it has been completely integrated into my experience. Perhaps, having served its purpose, it just up and left altogether. All I know is that my ears have returned to normality. The greatest thing about this absolution is that the pressure is also gone. For, much worse than the continuous tone was the pressure that accompanied it. These ears are far from their original state. But, I am once again contented, which is fine by me.

         Listening to William Grant Still's “Mother and Child” with reborn ears was quite the treat. It's been a couple of years since I wrote my essay on this work. I remembered what I thought as I tried to put into words the essence of my acceptance of that music. Romanticizing in the perfect moment is rare. Usually, reminiscence comes with melancholy of some sort. Naturally, since this essay included a bit about George Walker's “Lyric for Strings,” I queued that music to play directly afterward. It was pure bliss. With the revelation of new ears, I thought about my own music to come. I wondered what it would be, hoping to discover some sharp brightness deep within. I knew it was there. Though I can't hear it, I can feel it now.

         The feeling is certainly describable. I can't think of an instance that isn't describable, of course. But, many of those instances do not hold enough significance to warrant words. Presently, although I've been smoking cigarettes again, I feel clean inside, as if the ringing was some disinfectant which yelled over all of the contrasting spirits multi-tasking their way through my body. A bond that I sought for years has arrived. It is as if all of my colors have conspired to unify in a brilliant shade of brown, and as if that brown has taken over my entire being. Blood turned brown. Skin burnt like the brass of Jesus. I conspired in the open to make my skin into my ears, my ears into my tongue, and my tongue into my heart. This must be what that is.