Senses of History
July 3, 2001
I'm always amazed at the human mind when I listen to Garfunkel. As in "Simon and," supposedly the lesser known half or whatever. ::shrugs:: I can't recall hearing about them before I got into Art Garfunkel's music. For some reason I want to say that happened somewhere around '93, though I don't know why. It was probably at least a year or two later, not that it matters. I blame it all on the Redwall series, really. I was an early addict to that, and after casually reading so many reviews calling it the "next Watership Down," I decided to hunt down that book. Enjoyed it, too, and then moved on to hunting down the movie version of Watership Down. Garfunkel did a song for the soundtrack, called Bright Eyes. Mmmm. Lovely song. Melancholy, haunting. Utterly beautiful. I'll stick the lyrics up at the end, but it really needs to be heard, not read.
Anyway. I loved Bright Eyes. Like I said, it's amazing haunting. I know I made Mom sit down and help me transcribe the lyrics, but that wasn't enough. So we actually went out to Strawberry's and bought his self titled CD (and in checking for a title, I just realized I misspelled his name up until this point, but it should be fixed by the time people see this). I must've played it straight through over a dozen times. Around then, brother dear also picked up TSR's latest computer game release, Menzoberranzan. Being the RPG/dark elf junkie (and finally, at this very late point, a out of the closet Drizzt drooling fangirl) that I am, I made him put it on my computer as well as his and promptly spent WAY too much time trying to beat the game. And all though it, Garfunkel was going in the stereo.
My memory's never been the sharpest knife in the drawer. I have very hazy recollection of the time. But now, whenever I listen to the CD, I almost drown in sensory memory. Ok, so it's a line practically stolen from Sentinel, but oh so very true. It must've been spring, because as soon as the CD starts I think I should be getting a deep whiff of scent that is purely home. I guess it's mold, and rotting whatever in this old house, but come spring, when the house is just opened up after a long winter of closed windows, with a spring breeze running through the hall.....
That's the first thing that comes to mind. The smell of home, accompanied with a strong breeze from the windows I was desperate to keep open, because I couldn't stand any more time in a stuffy, overwarm room, so instead I froze in too cold, but glorious fresh air before the pollen really came out in force.
The second memory is of playing Menzoberranzan itself, wandering around a plain fighting too many gnolls, then spending WAY too much time wandering around too many tunnels. Actually, the tunnels come first, time spent on the plains more like a fond memory of "damn! why couldn't we spend more time up there? I'm sick of these spiders!" The people- characters, actually- come next. Having the main computer generated plot wasn't enough for me. I had an entire soap opera going on between the characters I created and the ones the computer gave me. Oh lord, the melodrama. It's all very nostalgic, for those days of simple, contrived romances. Yes, I was, and still am thankyouverymuch, a sick puppy.
But all that comes rushing back, when I listen to Garfunkel. Springtime at home, with a chill on the too hot and rather darkly lit room, wandering tunnels with spiders, rats, and contrived melodrama to the music of Art Garfunkel, all wrapped up in one nostalgic sensory memory. To a lesser degree, the same thing happens on the fleeting occasions I catch that whiff of fresh spring air and... whatever it is that spells "home" to my mind.
Which, I suppose, brings me back around to my original point. The human mind, and memory, amazes me. Why is it that such a specific group of recollections are sparked by just a bit of music? Why that group? I spent a lot more time than just the early not-quite spring playing Menzoberranzan, I listened to the CD even before then. That formerly-musty-house-just-aired-out smell has been around my whole life. But it all combines to create such a specific, intertwined sensory memory.
Damn, we humans have weird minds.
Oh yes, the song. Almost forgot. Bright Eyes, by Art Garfunkel. Find it, listen to it.
Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream,
Or is it a dream?
As always, comments can be e-mailed to Norcumi@backtick.net, or Instant Messaged to the same address.
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