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Friends -

I have had this hardshell warty gourd in my garage for several years -- since my friends Gary & David gave me a bag of miscellaneous abandoned gourds some time ago. This one may be pretty old, in fact, but it is sturdy and hardy and, if it does not get wet, will likely last a few more hundred years. But it sat in my garage not only because the bumpy ridges were hard to clean, but also because it was not easy to decide how to use it. Then last weekend I was in that rock-n-roll zone that I sometimes get in when I have been in Lopez Island for a while with the music blasting.... All of a sudden, my lumpy gourd had purpose! It's ridges and the bumps may be funny, but they clearly have an off-beat rhythm of their own that needs to be understood.

I certainly am not alone in making the connection between shape and music, you know. A a couple of thousand years ago Pythagoras figured out that there was a direct connection between even-numbered lengths of things and pleasant tone. Advances showed that geometry and topography are also closely connected and different musical genres can be described in shapes. I have even read that the blind and deaf can learn to understand music by feeling the rhythmic shapes of things. Amazing!

It all makes me wonder what type of harmony lies underneath his new little Groovy gourd. Whatever it is, I had a groovy time making it.

Enjoy spring,

margie lopez read