Posts Tagged ‘ragas’

Morning Raga

March 27, 2010

Birds tend to think the ideal morning raga is
a mathematical formula, an idea
which will describe ancient silk petals, say,
or nascent flowers in deep movement—
objects whose proof lies in open comparison to
sunlight. The birds, when they
listen to this old raga, played by these
old hands, still say that it’s a language which might be
a new language, and not the same old drumming sound
played next to their gold and silver cages.
Birds truly are sensate beings.

True thought consists in singing chords that seem
a repetition of this new language
—even in pain, even at death—
even though this cannot be. Imagine
each bird singing a thousand songs at each
advent of thought. Think about it—
a thousand songs before the sun moves one degree,
a thousand songs before each bird
can take a breath,
a thousand songs against that one moment,
against the passing of that moment…
It is impossible. It has to be.
Of course this too is why I play raga.

So morning’s first raga should not just wake
the sleepers, it should first disturb their dreams.
It should with open eyes bend over their
shut eyes, and watch them come to consciousness.
It should pause at the edge of its destruction,
for soon its vast body will fill the air.
The day is now upon the land. The cage-
bell-flute-beauty, this breath,
is now an abstraction and powerful.
For each day the morning raga finds its way
to garden walls, to destroy those walls.
And for the birds that can fly off,
who are at least alive in the wind,
the morning raga plays a thousand times
in that wind. And then the day begins.

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