When I was a child
I would sneak over to my neighbor’s swing set
and make up songs, soaring through the sky, to and fro,
free of family and home and time and space.
Kicking my feet as high as I could, I embroidered each song
with a sense of physicality, pushing my swing to the tipping point.
My song was repainted the world,
not in some sort of socio-political pastel meant to be for the good Mankind,
but in a Fantasia fictional vibrant flair,
a free flowing swirl of full, unique panotones
transforming Secret Imagination into... Universality.
My canvas was small, the size of the parabola that those
plated chains etched into the summer day.
But the absolute contours of my trajectory
had no Newtonian dimensions. I was safe from Gravity.
From Quantum Entanglements. From the Uncertainty Principle.
Still, I held on for dear life, even in my naive confidence.
That kid on the swing thought his music mattered.
It wasn’t that it mattered to anyone in particular or to anything special.
It just made him matter. Like Einstein and Light...
Matter out of energy. Music condensed into being.
Joy. So innocent. So fugitive. So full of effortless discovery.
Was this my first encounter with Beauty?
Not the kind you look at, but the kind you fuse to.
An honest critic once commented that Beauty cannot be defined.
Beauty is immune to definition.
it’s inherent in one’s personal interaction with it.
Beyond social conventions. Beyond language. Unassailable.
Maybe that’s why wise man are mostly quiet and musicians mostly play.
And why children put things in their mouth.
I do recall the sharp minerality and unearthly iridescence those chains left on my hands.
My swing set music has inoculated me from the great Viruses of the World.
It has become my Metronome of Beauty. Internal and measured and true.
And when I’m sick, I’m immune to anything that corrupts that rhythm.
And when I get sicker, I’ll hold on for dear life and feel again
those chain marks on my palms. And when I can’t hold on any longer,
I will be like Einstein and Light, beyond Gravity and Time,
paint from a child’s paintbrush, singing unique panotones, unassailable.
"Swing Set Music" ©2016 Tobin Mueller
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