Monday, January 9, 2012

Mozart and the Marsh

Except for shorebirds that disappear into it and trees that grow on the far side of it, Fripp Island marsh in January has the look of a Kansas wheat field in July, like a musical variation on a theme.  But I think the marsh harbors more secrets than a wheat field, due to its never getting run over by a combine.

Fripp Island marsh cropped to wheat field

Fuller view from Peggy Yaya's deck

Whenever I return to the arrogant landscape of my birth, the big sky and flat terrain bellow without shame, "You know, don't you, that Kansas represents the standard topography from which all other landforms are mere variations?"  Mere.  Simple, ordinary, minor. 

Mozart composed fourteen piano variations on the simple French tune known to English-singing children as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Like landforms, not one of them is mere.  Musically speaking, each is magnificent as a geological terrain.  A prairie, a marsh, a foothill, a mountain, a canyon, a cliff, a forest, a dessert, a swamp, a mesa, a beach, a reef, a rock, or a dune, to name fourteen of them. To listen to Mozart's variations is to experience fourteen musical moments of pleasure.  Almost enough for a lifetime.   If any of my family ever reads this, Mozart's Variations on Twinkle would be suitable funeral music for me.  And don't forget Chopin's Opus 39, Number 2, played only by Arthur Rubenstein, no one else.  Just saying.

Three pelicans flying low over the marsh started this reminiscence, wings pumping in unison, bodies remaining level.  They vanished into the grass without a trace, later to emerge like a new idea.  The secrets of the marsh are beginning to reveal themselves.  Chapter one of forty-four down.  dkm

Doesn't actually go with this post, but cool shadows on the marsh, not?  JR will like this:-)


bibi said...

I feel peace in my soul reading this post, looking at your photo and imagining the sounds of the day.

Jane Robertson said...

Lovely post :-)

Marsh makes me think of England, Dickens (Romney Marsh?). I suspect that marsh pleasures reveal themselves slowly - not necessarily dramatically but satisfyingly.

I love the image of the low-flying pelicans... (we don't have pelicans).

And yes to the shadows!!!

PS Christchurch city was built on a swamp (sort of another word for marsh?). One of the reasons for the extent of earthquake damage...

dkm said...

How interesting about Christchurch. More on the pelicans later in the month. The shadow photo was crying your name. How is life without Rosie?

NicoleB said...

I love the way you (or the marsh ;-)) describe the way of all other forms in nature coming from the flat land.
Never thought of it that way.
It's for sure a beautiful, intriguing landscape!
The place we (usually) live at in Hungary is all flat too, never boring though :-)

dkm said...

Ahhhh----life is never boring!

Niki said...

I love the sound of marshy secrets :)

One of the best bits when horse riding along the beach was to pop over the sandhills and visit the swamp.