Friday, August 29, 2014

Out of Sync vs. In Sync

Today I was recalling with someone what it felt like to be out of sync with my surroundings when I grew up.  Granted it was in the 50's when a lot of things and people were out of sync due to the all-too-urgent recent experience of war and, in cases of my parents' generation, memories of the Great Depression.

None of this was known to or knowable by a child, to be sure.  Only in retrospect can I have the slightest inkling of what it must have been like to raise a family at that time.  In addition to those greater historical realities, medical care was incredibly primitive in comparison to our day, and social mores infinitely more rigid, especially along lines of race, class, and sexual orientation.

What I knew about that time was from the general taste in pop music.  Crooning of the most syrupy sort seemed to me the worst waste of time imaginable.

I found companionship in sounds composed by Mozart, of all people, of whom I knew nothing and whose music was completely unknown to me except through those single, isolated tones I found in the book of sonatas I was fortunate to own.  Like some signal from Mars, this indicated the presence somewhere in the universe of a like-minded spirit.

Nothing small either to a twelve-year-old or to a woman in her seventies.