Yesterday I found an interesting article from the AP. Someone left a Baldwin piano in some rather remote woods near Harwich, Massachusetts (the Bells Neck woods to be exact, if you know the area). The piano, complete with matching bench, appeared to be in working condition when it was discovered and reported by a hiker in the conservation area. I wonder if she sat down and tried it first.
The police are perplexed. They wonder why someone would go to the trouble of doing such a thing, since it took six men to get the heavy instrument onto a truck to remove it. I’m fairly certain there is a law of some kind against leaving a piano in the woods like that. An object as huge as a piano might easily qualify for felony littering. And, in a final statement (which I can't help but hear Jay Leno reading as a Headline) the police said they have notified other local departments to see if any missing pianos have been reported – !
There are several explanations for the piano in the woods, perhaps the most likely being that someone had a hidden camera trained on it, and the video of the ‘punked’ hiker and police officers will soon be appearing on YouTube. Well, hopeless romantic that I am, I’ll tell you why I think someone did it. It was done by someone who truly wanted to play it out in the woods, who wanted to feel the wind against their face as they played, to let the music drift up into the branches of trees, and gently come to rest over the wildflowers. This was someone who wanted to hear the music echo in the trees instead of an enclosed room, someone who wanted to repay the birds for all their songs. This was someone who wanted to give something wonderful and mysterious to the raccoons and squirrels and toads, and then just walk away. I think of that scene between Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen and Robert Redford as Denys Finch-Hatton, in “Out of Africa.” They are on safari, and Finch Hatton has brought along a wind-up Victrola, which he rigs up to play remotely by pulling a string. They both hide, pull the string and wait. As music fills the still African air, a monkey comes to investigate. Finch-Hatton says, “Think of it, never a man-made sound…and then Mozart!” I don’t know what the mysterious Harwich pianist might have played in the woods. Maybe Mozart, maybe Oscar Peterson – I don’t think it really matters. And if that piano was left there for some other reason, something weird or mundane, then I hope I never find out.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.