03 November 2009

Like a million little doorways

You called my name. It shook me from sleep.

I looked around the dark and quiet room, unsure of what had just happened. The cat snored softly at my feet, and I heard the son rustle in his bed.

I strained hard, listening for other sounds, holding my breath, and the blood coursing through my body almost sounded like music.

My heart was pounding, the beat uneven as sometimes happens when I'm startled or tired or ill. Your voice still echoed in my ears. I tried to remember what I'd been dreaming and if you'd been there.

I lay back on my pillow, and seemingly from nowhere was the thought, "Call and response."

Experimentally, I whispered your name into the night and wondered if you could hear me.

Go listen to some good music: "Ghost of a Chance" from the album Roll the Bones by Rush. The phenomenon of "call and response" as it figures in communication, music and culture has long fascinated me. While it is often spontaneous, there is a distinct pattern to it, almost like a maze of mirrors, and it figures in so many of the ways in which we relate to one another. Even a blog post can be a call. Or a response.

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