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Creek Running North

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September 13, 2005


Fog rolls down over the shoulder of Tamalpais. The Richmond and Sonoma hills are backlit, pale behind the steelhead-colored bay.

Jaime Torres sings from the little speakers in the truck. I believe the bailecito will always be my favorite style of music. Formal and yet colloquial, forward major key turning coyly to a relative minor. Torres plays the charango, a relative of the mandolin once made from the shells of armadillos. High in the 17th-century Andes, there were few large trees for instrument making. He sings Zamba de la Candelaria, a song written by Jaime Dávalos and Eduardo Falú, a sweet lament about holiday candelarias cheering up the lonely traveler. I remind myself not to close my eyes while driving. I focus my attention on the road.
And then comes Sirviñaco, another Dávalos and Falú song, a joyous young man entreating his love to marry him, and live with him on charango music and tobacco.

Y si tus tatas se enteran,
ya tendrán consolación,
que todas las cosas tienen
con el tiempo la ocasión.

Y si Dios nos da un changuito
a mí no me ha de faltar
voluntad pa andar juntitos
ni valor p'a trabajar.

I have to pull over. The estuary of Corte Madera Creek shimmers a few feet away. I hit "replay" and close my eyes, gripping the wheel tight in my hands, squeezing every last note and quaver from the air.

Posted by Chris Clarke at September 13, 2005 08:07 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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I had to read this three times in a row and fall into it more deeply each time.

You're really into "the good stuff" now.

Beautifully done.


Posted by: ehj2 at September 14, 2005 10:55 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs


Posted by: Twisty at September 14, 2005 01:29 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

if Becky ever tires of you....

Posted by: susurra at September 14, 2005 09:39 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

I'm sure we're into "a couple times a day" territory there, S.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 14, 2005 11:31 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs