“Throwing Stones” in Walden

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In November she walked around the pond as the wind ebbed and flowed inside its banks. She threw stones into it. She listened for the sounds they made as they fell from the air, diving into the cool clear water below. She listened to the sounds of the waves whispering as they crept onto the sand. She listened to the sound of the wind whirling through the branches of trees. She listened to the sounds of her breath and of the sand as it shifted under her shoes as she walked around the pond.

In December, she took those memories of Walden into the class room, intertwining them with the emotions Walden evoked for her. Creating music from her memories.

In January, she returned to Walden walking along the sand, grinding the grit of it into the soles of her shoes, sheltering from the bite of the breeze that blew across the water which refused to freeze. She chatted with me walking beside her as we wandered along the northern bank of the pond. We discussed a winter with temperatures where winter’s snow and ice were not sustained, where they came and went like visiting white birds.

“I want a photo of you,” I told her. “In your blue jacket with the blue water and the sky which has turned from grey …to look how pretty the sky is and those clouds…” I rambled on. Suddenly I snapped a shot of the far shore with the sky and clouds as the subject while Kari walked a few feet in front, turned back toward me and smiled.

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“I want to share your music because you have expressed a part of Walden in your music that I have not experienced. …Perhaps others might like to experience it too… To see what you can do where you take nature into the class room and use your imagination; coupled with synthesizers and filters and other techniques you are learning about,” I told her. “May I share it?” I asked.
“Mama,” she said. “I would be honored.”

****Kari is currently a first year Classical Composition student at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.

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