L'aveugle et son chien -
Jacques Callot, 1622
His eyes are lying quietly on the floor
beside him, waiting patiently for his charge
to finish off his coffee. Each small movement
stirs him to a flick of tail, an open eye
and rest again until a clarity of decision
Here, alertness is all.
Meanwhile his charge talks on enthusiastically
of recent football matches, just as if he’d seen
each pass made on the field. And one wonders,
how to comprehend his perception of a game?
This is heading on to tricky
territory ― I mean:
how did Beethoven hear his last quartets?
how do any deaf musicians hear their music?
living in a silent world, moving sounds around
in a kind of deep sea ballet of silent music,
a work sitting there like a submerged
and then the final edifice rises up before them
ringing with brass and bells or pulsing
its quiet susurrations into our ears.
How does a head in silence fill with sound?
How does a mind in darkness fill with movement,
dangerous ballet of the football match?
How is the dance performed in his darkened room?
Here we have emotion, the sense of presence
heightened by the atmosphere, the noise
and friendly neighbours. All will lift him
on waves of
with an emotional spume that sighted people
can never deep down really comprehend.
The whole experience has been internalised
and the intensity of a winner at the death
must be so great that even his dog must feel
the electricity and shift uneasily on his watch.
The coffee cup is finally emptied and carefully
placed upon the table. A message is passed on
and eyes open, he shifts a little on the floor.
he been dreaming? He feels the harness tighten
and knows the time is here and slowly rises,
wags his tail and leads out into blinding sunlight.
A Blind Man and His Dog
Setembro de 2010