by Jay O'Toole
Some rare students take to the piano with ease. The rest of us have labor to understand.
|The pleasantly smoky aroma of coffee and the friendly bacon still crackling on the skillet helped Carl, (affectionately known by his friends as Middle C) to realize that a wonderful new day had begun in the Wurlitzer household. His empty chair awaited him under the family crest in the midst of his many brothers and sisters along with their Dad and Mom.
"O, thanks, Mom! Fragrant coffee, crispy bacon and a melt-in-your-mouth omelette of Mozzarella cheese, Cayenne Pepper, spinach greens and fresh mushrooms means this must be a special day, indeed!" Carl exulted in his typical ebullience of personality. "
"Of course, my dear and most favored son!" said Mother, (known in the music world, simply as "Treble Clef." "Today, we will begin to visit your many siblings in the countryside of Ivory Noir."
"Really, Mom. I have heard that many of my siblings have built modest cabins in the towering rampart mountains, the rolling foothills and everything in between."
"That is very true, Carl."
"But how is it that other siblings live in the ocean. We aren't fish, are we?"
"Not exactly, Carl, but early in our family's history we were given the same ability the fish have to breath the air, which is contained in the water itself.'
"You mean we can breathe underwater?"
"Yes! We have a great Creator, don't we?"
"We surely do!"
"But wait! There's more!" Mother said. "Like your siblings who live in the mountains, we can all fly, too."
"No wonder they come to visit us so often!" Carl shouted. "I think it would take such a long time for them to walk down the mountains to our house!"
"It would, indeed." Mother smiled. "Yet, Carl, you don't seem to realize something."
"What's that, Mom?"
"Carl, you are the most gifted among all of your brothers and sisters." Mother assured him. "That is why you always sit under the Wurlitzer family crest."
"How am I the most gifted, Mother?"
"You, my dear son, have the ability to swim like a fish to the deepest parts of the ocean and to fly like a bird to the highest places in the sky."
Carl took a whole measure of rest as he pondered the enormity of what his mother had just told him.
"Is that why I feel the most at home on the beach? It's like I truly live on the land between the ocean and the sky!"
"You do, Carl." Mother agreed. "You were born on the beach as the tide came in one day. I held you in my arms with my feet in the water and my hair on the sand. You have always been a child of two worlds. That is why today is the day for which we have been waiting to present you with your own home on the beach just to the left of two large, dark basalt lava dunes."
"My own home, Mom? That's amazing! Thank you so much!"
"From now on you can visit your siblings in the ocean or in the mountains at a moment's notice." Mother's face was radiant.
"Mother, tell me more about our family down in the ocean and up in the mountains."
"Well, Carl, you have three brothers in the ocean, who sound and act just like you do, but who are not exactly like you are."
"Mother, what do you mean, 'not exactly like' me?"
"Wait, there's more!" Mother let a little laugh escape. "You have four brothers, who live in the mountains, who sound and act like you do, but who are not exactly like you are."
"I have seven brothers, who are like me, but not exactly like me? How is that possible?"
"Carl, it's really not so mystifying, if you know how to speak and to sing in the language of the region of your home."
"The region of my home, Mother?"
"The region of your home, Carl. You live on the beach. As you lift your voice to proclaim the joys of your heart, your song wafts for miles on the breezes of the land at C-level."
"Alright, I think I understand that, Mom, but how are my brothers both the same as me and different from me?" Carl wondered.
"Let me take you to visit your first brother in the ocean. (He is the first one, who lives below C-level.) Carl Sub-1, as we named him, likes to sing the same song you sing, but without the help of the joyous breezes of the beach, CaSu-1, (which is his nickname) must sing the song in slower and longer waves of music that cut through the fluid ocean waves like a knife to reach the breezes of the beach, which then take his song to the four corners of the Earth then as easily as yours."
"WOW! Why must CaSu-1 work with so much greater difficulty than I? Am I that much better than he?"
"Not in the least, Carl." Mother assured him. "Not in the least. Your first brother in the ocean doesn't think his life is that much harder than yours. He feels honored to sing his song in a slower and lower way that is not natural for you. He considers his life to be blessed by his uniqueness."
"Do my other brothers in the ocean feel just as blessed as CaSu-1, Mother?"
"Most assuredly they do, Dear Carl! You just met Carl Sub-1, who lives at the end of Music's continental shelf. He enjoys great sun, great sand and great water. His life is like a watery room with light that is not that much different than yours. But your other brothers live in a land of deeper darkness."
"Why deeper darkness, Mother?" The thought seemed to make him sad.
"Carl Sub-2 lives in a large cave halfway down the Cliffs of Drop-Off. He sings your lovely song day and night, but fewer people stop to listen. This could make him sad, if he didn't have such great hope for the importance of the song he always sings."
"Why is it harder for his song to affect the world, Mother?"
"CaSu-2 lives twice as far from the beach as does CaSu-1. Therefore, he must sing his song twice as slowly and twice as low as you sing the song, Carl. His song that is two times slow and two times low must travel through twice as much water to reach the breezes of the beach, which finally take it to the peoples of the world."
"Does CaSu-2 feel ignored by life and by the peoples of the world in his shadowy cave in the Cliffs of Drop-Off?"
"Far from it, Dear One," Mother said as she patted his back. "CaSu-2 sees hues of light few only dream of seeing and he resonates with sounds that most would consider to be miraculous. CaSu-2 sings with great Joy the song given to him by his Creator. Therefore, his satisfaction surpasses many, who inhabit the world of men."
"But what of my third brother in the depths of the ocean below C-level?"
"Carl Subaqueous III, (which is said as 'The Third',) was so named because of the depth and intensity of his task. We address him as royalty because he has been called upon to endure great hardship away from the light and adoration of the world of Mankind." Mother paused to reflect and consider how to further tell of the greatness of her beloved son, who has lived so far away from home for so long.
"Does CaSu-3 ever get home for a visit? Is he ever furloughed from his long-deployment?" Carl wondered.
"Well, that is just the thing, Carl. First of all, we never call him 'CaSu' like the other subaqueous brothers. If we ever call him by a nickname, then it is 'CarlS, the Third,' for little else would seem as distinguished."
"I'm so sorry, Mom!"
"No apology is necessary, Son. We think it is an important principle of life that the greater the responsibility that is greatly handled the greater the respect that is eminently deserved. You see our giant of a son, Carl Subaqueous III, lives at the bottom of the ocean. He is so far below C-level that he sees no light, singing beauty from the depths of his core as Aslan sang the Creation into being so long ago. He knows your song, Carl, and he sings it with great volume. The huge diaphragm of our loving son pushes great walls of waters to each side as did Moses and his Divinely-appointed rod to bring his seldom heard, but thrice-slow and three times low song to the surface, where the breezes waft this massive wall of sound to the astonished peoples of the world."
"I had no idea! I am brother to a great man!"
"You are, indeed, my Son!"
"Shall we travel back to C-level and begin our journey to visit my brothers and sisters in the mountains?"
"Let's go home for today, Dear One. The trip to the mountains will have to wait until another day for it is nearly time to begin preparations for the evening meal."
"Why is that so hard, Mom?"
"Though your brothers under the C rarely get home due to the situation of their lives, most of your brothers and their families in the mountains sit at our table most days. You see as winged creatures their fancies often take flight, and those flying fancies consistently include 'Mother's home-cooked meals.' Right now we must swim as dolphins and we must cook as Emeril! Forty plus mouths are hard to keep fed."
"Let me help you cook, Mother!"
"That would be greatly appreciated! Just remember the keys we've learned today, Carl!
"First, those who are most like us enjoy singing the same song we sing, but the environment in which they live greatly affects the way the world hears the song from each mouth.
"Secondly, great responsibility handled well brings great respect from those, who know us best.
"Finally, those who live under great pressure may not seem as close to their loved ones, but their jobs are at least as important to the maintenance of the world. We must honor them for their sacrifice."
"I will remember, Mother! Great! We're home! Let me go fire up the grill!...By the way,...Who is Emeril?"
Word Count: 1764
by Jay O'Toole
on May 23rd, 2017