We think the sound ends when no we longer hear it. All senses leave traces and vibrations remembered at some later moment. We hear sounds recalling them in stories about that moment. It is not as clearly recalled, but it does remain equally vivid as we recall the moment when the sprinkler made its sounds and the water touched us as we ran through the water on a hot summer day years ago. It is the moment relived. The trailing feather of mist touches us. We feel the coolness touching overheated bodies that long ago day.
David Baker called this human ability, and it is a human ability, heaven. We hear the music after it ends. It reminded me of the Leonard Cohen line about dancing to the end of love. It is not the end of love, but a part of love we feel in that dance called life. Although the line is melancholic, the love is felt in daily activities bringing joy and sadness. It is in sharing of the joy and sadness we find love and heaven.
All afternoon the sprinkler ticks and sprays,
ticks and sprays in lazy rounds, trailing
a feather of mist. When I turn it off,
the cicadas keep up their own dry rain,
passing on high from limb to limb.
I don’t know what has shocked me more,
that you are gone, that I am still here,
that there is music after the end.