by Drew Martin
I had a very interesting dream this morning. I was in a seaside village somewhere in the world. There were small houses and a very pebbly beach with chilly, overcast weather. Something unique about the locals was that their main past-time revolved around a musical instrument of sorts. They all owned one and kept it on the stoop in front of their houses.
The contraption was about the size of a large accordion, which had a slot near the top where you placed your hand when you were swinging it. With an underarm bowling-throw gesture you pressed a lever inside when you were full-swing, and out came about six or seven nested containers made of a gourd-like hard shell, which were tethered to each other. The smallest one would make its way to the farthest point about 20 yards out, and the largest one would land about ten feet away. The people tossed these things on the pebbly beach near the water and then reeled them in. As they did so the hard, woody shells rubbed on the pebbles and emitted bizarre and abstract sounds. There was nothing melodic or rhythmic in the noises they produced but the locals had an ear for the right aesthetic qualities they were trying to achieve. For them this was the highest art form.
Someone was showing me how to cast the containers and then a young man came by and inquired about me because the instrument I was using was actually taken from his front stoop. He was upset that I might damage it and was also offended that it had been removed from his home, as it was a symbol of pride in that community.
Pictured here is a drawing I made of the dream after awakening this morning.