bird watching

it was another friday, about three and a half years ago. i happened upon an essay on the new york times website written by a musician who played the violin and … whistled. well, that sounded interesting. i wrote his name on my hand because that was the way i remembered things then; i had not yet developed a weakness for moleskine notebooks.

it was evening, at a coffeehouse, conversing with a vest- and spectacles-clad former classmate. painful topic. forgotten topic. lull in conversation.

“i got a new cd today.” rubbing together of hands in glee.

“oh? what was it?”

“someone —– told me about. andrew bird. he whistles.”

mental gasp. in response, i raise my hand — the one with writing on it.

out loud gasp.

“hey, —–, look who —— has written on her hand!”

excited bouncing.

“he’s great!”

more excited bouncing.

they who do not bounce stare at each with the funny-dumb expression that happens when the unexpected has just been encountered. if i had known the term “synchronicity” then (instead of learning it last night) i might have suggested the idea, but as it was, i probably just wore the funny-dumb look for a while.

when i went home i ordered andrew bird’s cd armchair apocrypha, and loved it. then noble beast came out, and i liked it, but didn’t buy it. that was around the time i had fitz and dizzyspells of my own, however.

which, in a roundabout way, brings us to tonight, when i was privileged to see andrew bird perform at kansas city’s uptown theater. coincidentally, i attended with the two people obliquely responsible for my following up on the note inked on my hand.

this was my first “real” concert, and i am far more familiar with classical music than with modern folk-rock-indie-experimental-latin-bluegrass whistling music, so i am not even going to attempt to talk about what happened in technical terms. let’s just say: it was amazing. that’s a lame description, but oh well. amazing. beautiful. thrilling. funny. brilliant.

what i came away wondering, though, after watching mr. bird throw himself into every note created, was this: what does the music feel like in his mind? what does he see?

different types of minds process things different ways, and it seems to me that mr. bird might be one of those people with beautiful minds who sees-feels things in a dimension unnoticed by normal eyes.

but hey, that’s just my opinion.

go ahead, say something dumb, boy, there’s no shame.