The Musical Tower of Babel

Childhood was spent in a tower with large windows that let fresh blue air in, and sunlight beams that found its way through the tall bamboo stalks and light green leaves. At night yellow, indistinct music floated from far away hills, and we lurked at those windows in the dark, the moonlight throwing lanky shadows of us on the ground. The music was sometimes interrupted by silences, clinking of presumbably wine glasses, celebration, passionate shrieks of love and concomitant frustration, seductive laughter and intent gazes. Our ears alert, picking up these familiar and unfamiliar sounds. The distinctive beauty of indistinct sounds, their origins unknown, and our resolve to never trace and smother them with overpowering curiosity and interest.

photo credit bedartha

Ten years later, in another tower, in a far away land, they speak here in a foreign tongue, but the smiles are familar, the air is white, and windows larger. There is a smaller window that tempts, to peek into even distant lands and dreams of past, lets in music inspired by experiences of people we will never meet, whose names we will never remember, their smiles fade into signs of sadness, their eyes ensure they understand that we will never understand, but their music has found us through this small window. They don’t mind we don’t understand, and we don’t mind either.

In this tower of Babel, all of us find ourselves standing in front of these large windows, staring out to blue skies and white clouds that greet us. All around are the songs, we all sing in unfamilar tongues, we don’t understand but there is imagination dancing around in its nimble toes. Playfully disrupting dreams of our pasts and knowledge of futures to indistinct tunes. This tower of Babel teases with a lifetime of curiosity, beauty of unfamiliar music, and promises of chaos.