I've taken a break this semester from accordion lessons in order to avoid driving in blizzards and parking in snowdrifts (naturally, there haven't been any this winter; you're welcome), so my practice has taken on a slightly discombobulated quality. Without any feedback, there's really no way of knowing if I'm going massively astray, or what.
There seems to have been a coup in my psyche, where the medley of confusing voices that habitually guide me has been drowned out, or prorogued or something. The voice that now wins is the increasingly panicky one that started out by muttering that I was possibly mistaken in my musical interpretations, and is now shouting YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING! YOU HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE! STOP THAT NOISE!
Accordion is not the same, I'm finding, without a teacher (Tiina, where are you?), just as doing yoga poses with a Richard Hittleman book propped open on the couch and a Steve Halpern CD is not the same as going to class.
With luck and time we internalize our good teachers, so that the voice we hear in our heads is theirs (instead of, say, the voice of our parents, or whoever those people were who bought us from the gypsies and told us we were hopeless, do you hear me? hopeless).
I would like to -- and sometimes do! -- hear Tiina's voice saying: "It's not rocket science, it's just moving your fingers."
And be comforted.
Today, driving up Fallingbrook after dropping Michael off for the Streetcar of Doom, I saw a tiny yet vivid sign on the east side, with print so small you had to squint, yet not resembling any other Toronto street sign. Slowing to read it, I could just make out: "Monolithic sidewalk begins."
In our periodic agonizings over what is the Canadian identity, so far as I know nobody has ever mentioned what I believe to be our main characteristic: being signage-challenged. I guess nobody likes to be identified mainly by their disability, but I think there's a case to be made. And I think that if Interpol ever wants to establish conclusively whether an international criminal is Canadian, they should sit them down with pen and paper and say, "You want people to know they can park between these two posts between 8 and 6, but not between 7 and 9 -- except on Tuesdays, when all bets are off. Design a sign."
So. "Monolithic sidewalk begins."
When I think monoliths, I tend to think 2001: A Space Odyssey, or else a statue of Ozymandias gathering dust in the desert.
What I tend not to think of is sidewalks. Shows you what I know.
Wikipedia says: A monolith is a geological feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock, or a single piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument. Erosion usually exposes the geological formations, which are most often made of very hard and solid metamorphic or igneous rock.
A monolith is a monument or natural feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock.
Monolith or monolithic can also refer to:
- Single crystal, unified crystal, also called monocrystal or monolithic
- Monolith Festival, Colorado music festival
- Monolith Deathcult, European Death Metal band
- Monolith, Canadian Symphonic Metal band
- Monolithic (band), synthpop band
- Monolith, song by Stone Sour from the album Stone Sour
- Monolith, song by T. Rex from the album Electric Warrior
- Monolith, song by Yello
- Monolith, song by Wolfmother
- Monolith, song by Jedi Mind Tricks
- Monolith, 15 minute song by The Beta Band, on the compilation The Three EPs
- Monolith, song by the ethereal ambient group Delerium
- Monolith, song by the death metal group Cannibal Corpse from the album "vile"
- The Monolith, song by progressive death metal band Becoming the Archetype
- Monolith (album), 1979 album by Kansas
- Monolith (Amebix album), 1987 album by Amebix
- Monolith (Death Cube K album), 2007 set of five albums by Death Cube K
- Monolith (In Mourning album), 2010 album by Progressive Death Metal band In Mourning
And if I try very hard, I can manufacture Tiina's voice in my head: "It's not rocket science. It's just a sidewalk."
And am comforted.
Wikipedia contributors. "Monolith." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2010.
Wikipedia contributors. "Monolith (disambiguation)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2010.