Friday, July 24, 2009

Of late musicians and artists appear in my dreams.

I sat in the humble mountain home of cool and kind Carlos Santana, listening to him play and tell of the heirlooms about him. Notably a silver flute. Not tarnished, but old. Creamy soft. His grand or even great-grandfather's flute.

The flute was wrapped in a heavy alpaca knit sweater, and in the body of the flute were markings. Secret markings. Triangles. Numbers., scribed in triangles on the plate near the thumb rest. The numbers woven into the warp and weft of the sweater now used to protect the flute. Magically, the plate opened to reveal the markings more clearly.

I was told by Carlos that it represented a Mexican tradition (which he named and I thought I recognized the word from life, but could not repeat it now, if my life depended on it). The tradition I was told was that his grandmother, or great grandmother, as the case may be, had knit the sweater as a gift to accompany the grandson, providing comfort for the departing man as he headed off to live in the world. A gift of appreciation for the comfort and protection she had received from the grandson.

Yes we talked of guitars, but memories were blown in the flute's happy breath. Oosh 'bgoosh.

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