Secret Music

A Childish Tale for Grown-ups

Once upon a time, long, long, ago, in a galaxy far away, there was a unique and curious land where a peculiar people dwelt. Somehow in the past each member of this race had suffered a terrible injury. As a result, each one had lost the knowledge of who he was, how he had come to live in this land and what it was he was to be about.

The name of this place was the “Land of Rend”, though no one seemed to know why it was so called. Life in the Land of Rend was paradoxical, to say the least. Although the land itself was very beautiful and hospitable by one view, it also had at times a threatening and dangerous aspect. This was due to the fact that those who lived there seemed to have lost the sense of how things worked in their land, along with their own past histories. In this beautiful but dangerous setting, the inhabitants of Rend, named “Rendeds” by general agreement,  pursued their lives. Often, to their own horror, they would commit the most hideous crimes upon one another, even upon those they held closest in life. They knew these acts were atrocious, but they could not seem to remember why or how to keep this from happening.

Walking through the Land of Rend, one could see the remains of Rendeds who had been killed by other Rendeds…carnage among fields of flowers. The hungry and ill were completely ignored and untended in the midst of jovial feasts. Some Rendeds sickened and died for no apparent reason. Others leapt from buildings to destroy themselves or performed acts of self-mutilation. Stranger still, some lived unhampered lives in the very midst of chaos. Laws and systems were proposed but no one could agree upon what laws were right.

The greatest paradox of all was that the entire Land of Rend was filled with the most mysterious and beautiful music. There was nowhere one could go and not hear its haunting sound. The music provoked only mild interest in most Rendeds; few questioned or even recognized its beauty in the midst of their unfathomable world. As the horror of life in Rend increased, many Rendeds, stunned or preoccupied, failed to hear the music any longer, or only heard it faintly. At last, many Rendeds could no longer hear the music at all. They could hardly be called dull-witted, but rather they seemed to be listening for something else and therefore could not hear to sounds which were coming to them night and day.

Some Rendeds eventually denied the existence of any music at all. They supposed that “hearing music” was just another of the aberrations to be found in their own kind and finally declared for the benefit of all Rendeds that the land of Rend………was silent. Sometimes tidy and lovingly made signs appeared on walls stating, “Silence is Golden”. But the music… never changed or stopped at all.

A few Rendeds, especially the sort who had always found comfort in finding a lonely spot and just listening to the music, became even more depressed at this testimony about silence coming from the others. They became even more restless and uneasy in their uncertain world. They just KNEW they were hearing music; they knew it somehow soothed. They began to get up from their corners and resting places, and tried to follow the sound of the music. It must come from somewhere! Some of these lost interest along the way, but others continued to follow, to try to find the source of the music. The sound grew stronger and clearer as they went, though often they seemed to lose track of why they were searching. Eventually, many came to the source of music.

Strangely, finding the source was not always the same for each. Some just took a turn in a grove of trees and there they were, at the center of the music. Others heard it from far off and traveled through many hardships to reach their goal. But, the source was the same for each. As they sat basking in its resonance, it filled them to the brim. They began to tap their feet to the rhythm; then slowly, grins began to spread over their faces. They began to look around at one another. They began to remember who they were and from whence they had come!  Their smiles turned to chuckles.

They began to try something they had never before thought of….they began to sing along with the music. The better and more joyfully they sang, the more they laughed, until finally the whole land rang with their laughter. They laughed until they cried. They got up and began to dance to the music with a new energy.  After a long time of celebration, one by one they lay down upon the grass and slept, deeply, profoundly, for the first time…… the Land of Rend.

These Rendeds,  now renamed themselves, “Mendeds” (and called their land, “Mend”, instead of Rend.)  Everyday they stole back to the source of music. There they had another uproarious laugh, a dance, and a time of pure rest. When they went back among the Rendeds sometimes their mere presence kept anything horrible from happening. Some Rendeds seemed to regain their hearing in the presence of Mendeds; these set out on their own for the source of music and found it. The Mendeds were always going among the Rendeds, asking them, “Don’t you hear it? Don’t you hear it now?” Sometimes the Rendeds, over-taxed already, would become irritable at this Mended-prodding, replying, “Why do you keep on talking about this so-called music? If you really knew anything, you would get down here and help us solve all these problems!” And they would turn away. Some Mendeds even tried to take down the “Silence is Golden” signs, but for this they were severely chastised, and even beaten, especially by Rendeds who were in charge of the keeping of signs.

Still, many Rendeds were Mended and mainly, the music never changed or stopped at all.



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