A River Runs Through You
(c) 2002 by Ross Anthony

to the sandman

The club is crowded, the audience waiting, talking amongst themselves. The line outside begins to thicken and push. You were headed across the street for something quite mundane. Something usual, something you do everyday, until it wears the memory required for it like crayons, erodes the neurons. You could do it in your sleep. In fact, you are asleep. But this time, this event bigger than your town has drawn huge crowds and they're bustling pushing, banking against you like logs in a river. They are a river. You are a log and the current has taken you against your will ... if you would have had one. The river flows into the club and you let go of your mundane task with much greater ease and comfort than you would have ever expected. In fact, as you flow through the club doors you can't even remember where it was you were headed in the first place. "Who's playing?" The words just slip from your mouth as you catch the first glimpse of the empty stage. "Oh, best ... the best of the best from all the surrounding areas, best singers, best musicians best songwriters," someone enlightens as the crowd disperses to various seats and or standing room, you head straight for the empty stage. Though you have no idea how to play it, you put your hand out commandingly to the roadie waiting at the steps. He tosses an acoustic guitar in your waiting grip. Without breaking your stride you are on stage whipping that instrument around and across your belly. You face the audience. They face you with surprise, the show isn't supposed to begin for another half-hour. Deep breath, closed eyes, you begin to pound out a primal rhythm on the wooden torso of the guitar. The rhythm is also like a river and though you've never swum in it, it's been running within you since birth, since before birth. It's inside you and for the first time you go running through it. You've captivated everyone. Every single one. Like a signal sent from one beast to the rest, you've plugged into something that can be heard loud and clear from the rest of the human beings around you and it's not just music, not just pounding, it's an expression of reckless confidence. Anyone can pound on wood, but you've opened a ten-gallon can of trust. For the first time, a notion, a muse, a hint, a tease, a call, a taste, a hunch, a feeling, a direction swum across your path, your skull, your thoughts, your id, your being, your heart, soul, spirit and you followed, you took its lead, you let go of rationality, logic, common sense. And now you're swimming in it. The guitar is vibrating so hard in your lap, laughing uncontrollable like a tickled child, the strings resonate off the fret, they melt like cheese, like noodles, they fall off the board, you toss the spent music box away form you and lunge for an instrument that can handle you, that is fully charged with life, ready to be taken down this river. Your hands sink into the keys as if they were clay, mud, watermelon, blueberry pie, marshmallows, the arms of a thousand loves. They can't handle you. Music rounds the bend, smashing into chairs, tables, humans, like white water rapids. You ride the piano, the only un-capsized raft in the club, spanking the wild river with your oar... and it likes it. And it's alive with you. And you are exhausting it, you are making a smile of simple water, and you are creating a wave of gasps upon which to skip like a stone skipping like a child. The music you make has never been heard even though it's been knocking on your skin from the insides ever since you were born, before you were born. Can you hear it knocking?


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Copyright © 2002. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Monday, 10-Dec-2007 10:05:51 PST