Those Strings

Talk about a cliché, but there are times when I envision my heart as a violin, played by the vibrations and harmonies of certain ideas. This thought worked its way to being articulated today because I am going through one of those I-want-to-return-to-all-the-countries-I-grew-up-in phases again these days. It is always such an internal ordeal.
My heart aches for dumplings at those modest market-side restaurants with garage-door openings and hot daan taat at the special afternoon time when everyone lines up outside the bakeries with their protruding elbows; I want to hear phrases like dai go dai in real life and look to see who is being praised; I want to drink coffee across from the Pompidou and look for the place I used to go for wine and cheese at the Marais; I want to ride my bicycle over the GW bridge to the Palisades, or walk by the little red lighthouse and admire the river all the way to the boathouse at 72nd.
All so melodramatic.
I still have not figured out a way to quell these stormy melodies. If anyone has, what is the trick? Longing is sometimes such a dry, exhausting desert - nothing to do with how I imagine the Blue People laughing as they drink tea in their Algerian tents. These may have been the Saharan people described by Herodotus. Can I trade stories for brief excursions to the lands I knew from yesteryear? But what for: some wander in vain. The nomads had an aim. Is this stirring feeling in the bones like a mirage - or better, like a Siren, calling out to the weary sailor? Or, like a shuttle, must one keep going over whatever warp one has wound until one has brought coherence and structure to a final piece?

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