Observation #2: Digital Rain

The songbirds sing lonelier songs. The brooks babble to nobody. If the tree falls in the actual-factual forest and there's no one there to Instagram it, does it make a sound? Yesterday, I was listening to the music of Johann Johannson (whose parents must have had a sense of humor) while I scrolled social media. In his song "Theme," Jo-Jo sampled the sounds of seagulls at the beach, rain on the water, thunder, a choir. I was almost moved to tears by my forgetfulness of the music of the natural world.

This morning, as if by some act of divine providence, a thunderstorm rolled into the Ozarks. I sat under the carport and watched it come. A north wind blew through the oaks on the back of the property, bent the arms of those oaks and lifted their skirts. The paler undersides of the leaves rose in contagion with every gust, creating something resembling a tumbling wave. The thunder, the drumming drops on the leaves, the shoosh of the wind, the chittering birds--it was all music. I did not Instagram it, but I heard it. In that hearing, I remembered something of creation, of movement, of the divine.

This is what I know: The hoary music of earth has been replaced by the whorey digital noise of men. And we are worse the wear for it.



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