I have no real idea what if would feel like to be a free being as a child of 9 or 10, but if I now were that age I would say that I found what the tone of D-FLAT – or is that C-SHARP – looks like to me.
From my adult point of view, I am pursuing music therapy. From this point of view I can follow what I learn and experience about music like I might were I a child and I would say that I found the line that separates D-Flat from C-Sharp! Yet there is no clear line defining this single tone anymore than there is one between myself as a child from who I am as an adult or between what I know and what I do not know. These arbitrary lines are simply about sensing.
When I look up and see a clear blue sky that is C-Sharp. When I can see any physical object that cuts a clear line against clear blue sky that to me is where D-Flat is. The top stony ridge line of a mountain against the sky: The mountain sounds D-Flat until I look at the sky instead where the two lines meet and there it is – C-Sharp – on the sky side of the line!
Then I saw those tones along rooftop ridges, fence lines, clotheslines, power poles and power lines, even bare tree twigs and branches and their leaves against the sky. I would see it along the lines of a bird wing in flight. I can see the lines when I hold my hand up against the sky. (I am not at all sure that is the tone – high or low, up or down – that I would be able to see where a cloud edge meets the sky.)
How D-Flat feels to me soft and warm and very clearly a part of the close world I live in while C-Sharp feels distant and, well, SHARP? I do not know because if nobody had named them such I would never have broken these tones apart (Yes, they are identical in vibrations, but…..). Just like I would never have thought of my own self, body and all, as being separate from this world I live in if nobody had ever told me such-and-such is so.
This music stuff I am learning, this is not intellectual for the most part, although I am finding great thrills in being able to read and write the part I can hear that matches what others have defined for me within the range of ‘western thinking’ sound. I do now know why D-Flat seems ‘lower’ to me when according to ‘rules’ C-Sharp is moving down the scale while D-Flat is moving up.
With my human senses I can only hear so much, can only see so much, yet I also know that my ears are designed to detect the slower vibrations of color while my eyes are designed to detect the faster vibrations of sound – all far more primitively than I imagine many other creatures can. Yet what I practice now is to hear tones with both my physical ear and the ear of my soul. Something happened to me in my body by severe abuse of all kinds from the time I was born that somehow broke apart my ability to listen with both of my ears to the same tones at the same time. I am pursuing a course of healing.
I am reminded of these words that tell me also that some sounds also have fragrance. There is much mystery in Creation!
“Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee,
as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him,
that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul,
and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber,
the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty
shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth,
and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb.
Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue
of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise
its influence upon his soul. Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation
of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him
Who is the Source of power and wisdom.” —BAHÁ’U’LLÁH