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Ode to HG Wells’ “The Country of the Blind” and “The Star”

I wrote this while taking Coursera’s Fantasy & Science Fiction course. The assignment was to write an essay on HG Wells work, but I do things my way. I combined the two stories and created a poem out of it.

She was like a lion,

a big bright shining star

Her mane rose up,

captured the sky

like a chariot on fire,

ripping open

those that surrounded her

Push, pull, push, pull…

Most never take notice

until it’s too late

But the one with one eye –

he notices

Yes, he notices

He sees her bodacious beauty –

mountains rising above him,

he begins to feel caved in

until…

Until he realizes he’s in love.

Shannon's Creative Work: Abstract Paintings by Shannon Hudnell &emdash;

Meditation: Visualizing Mountains

I started meditation a few years ago, and it took me a while to figure out what I was doing. Eventually, I just let go and things came to me. There is one vision that comes to me every so often, but each time it changes as I grow spiritually.

The first time I had this visualization, I saw a beach and people standing across it in a line, facing the water, facing me. I knew that these are the people that I will help in some way. One was a tall, skinny man, another was an older woman in a wheelchair with a broken leg or foot, and some were children. Behind the people, but farther in the distance was a mountain. It seemed as if there was also a mountain of people, but that wasn’t clear. In front of the mountain was a shop, and I had to go through it in order to get to the mountain. The more I stared at the shop, I could see block letters, and I think it was a print shop.

High on a Mountain

Each time I had the mountain vision, something changed, something progressed. Eventually I made it to another mountain, and entered inside a room with beautiful lights. There was a window on one side overlooking a river. The room was long like a hallway, and at the end was a way to go left or right. I knew to go left first and entered another small dark room. I believe it had a large crystal in it, like an amethyst. I knew I wasn’t ready to head to the other room on the right, so during the next few visualizations, I enjoyed the pretty colors and window view in the long room.

Eventually, I made it into the room on the right. This was a room that allowed me to move on to the next mountain. I could fly above the land and be free. Whenever I need a sense of freedom, I try to go back to the room on the right and fly out above everything.

An Interpretation of Huun Huur Tu

The purpose of me taking a World Music class is to learn about something I don’t know. Tuvan “throat singing” is definitely new to me. I wasn’t sure if I could tolerate it at first, but I actually came to like it so much that I am listening to the concert again as I blog. The instruments remind me of the music I’ve often heard at Renaissance Festivals. The throat singing isn’t anything I’ve ever heard before or could possibly begin to explain, but the experience felt spiritual.

This is my personal interpretation of this particular Huun Huur Tu concert:

When I first began viewing the Huun Huur Tu live concert video, I was unsure of how long I could sit through listening to what seemed to be the “same” thing for an hour and a half. However, I quickly learned that it was far from my expectations, and I felt that overall, the concert was more like a musical play that told the story of a spiritual journey. The concert sparked my imagination, as I pictured the images of the music in my mind.

The concert begins with a prayer that sounded much like a meditation (think “Om”), then the music switches to a more fun and freer. I pictured a boy on a mountain praying and then getting ready to set off for something new. In the third piece, the Sygyt, I imagined a boy standing on a mountain and speaking to it (this is taking into the consideration the Tuvan history and relationship with mountains and nature). When he finishes this, the Chiraa Khoor begins, and he sets off on his horse for an adventure. The clopping of the horse hooves and the neighing of the horse are merely instruments being played by the musicians, but add a significant purpose to the piece. Karyraa “spirit of mountains” begins and it seems as if the mountains speak directly to the boy or somehow guide him.

Then comes the love story – Sarylgarlar. It speaks of sadness, and typical of Tuvan music, the winds appear and seem to blow away the memories, sadness, and tears. The mountain (the deeper tones) speaks, the boy answers (higher tones), and the mountain seem to somehow join in the sorrow while the winds join as the song ends.

The Kozhamyk seems to be a more joyful adventure, as the mountains (deeper) and winds (higher) seem happy. Something changes with the Kongurei, a song about people migrating. It is sad, as if people are longing for something (their homes, perhaps?), and the following Camel Caravan Drivers speaks of homesickness.

Time passes and the “wind” (mouthpiece instrument) blows again in Sagly Khalaun Turula Boor, as if it is moving onto the next journey, another love story. Eerbe Aksy is comprised of horse hooves and both high and low tones (mountains and wind) and then suddenly stops. What happens? Does the boy meet the love of his life and settle down? Or is it another sad ending? Is the Orphan’s Lament what this story is all about?

When the woman sings at the end, which is unusual for Tuvan music, the musicians play animal calls, particularly the crane and perhaps an elephant. An electric guitar collaborates with this piece, bringing together a sort of oneness with the boy’s adventure.

The concert ends with Aa-shuu Dekei-oo, a song about the lifestyle of the Tuvans, bringing happiness back into the images once again.