The Charlie Bravo Story

The Universal Sound

It’s a cold, rainy day at the Casa, so the dogs and I exiled ourselves to the Cave Canum. Titus, Stubb and Claire piled up in the corner, while of course Charlie kept herself underfoot at all times. When she wants attention, she has this alarming habit of backing up against me and vigorously hunching her hinderparts upon my person. This is a sign that I must immediately stop whatever I’m doing and scratch her big black butt, with her looking cockeyed back over her shoulder; “get with program, dad; this tail ain’t gonna scratch itself!”.

I’ve been enduring this level of blatant disrespect for six years, and it still strikes me as a little bizarre even now. But just imagine her subjecting a random visitor to this type of behaviour; I love watching their reactions, ranging from bemusement to utter dismay and confusion. But since I know she’s never going to cease and desist, all I can do is a lame attempt at advising them that they are receiving a great honor, albeit at the south end of a northbound Charlie.

I would like to believe that they are suitably flattered, but I am assailed by doubt.

After a few hours of futzing around with this bike or that while scheming as to where and when the next trip will take us, I decided to cut off the propane heater and take my entourage back inside. But first I had to stop and strum some chords on the guitar that hangs on the garage wall. I am NOT a good guitarist, and I have resigned myself to the fact that I’m never going to get much better. But I still love it; I’ve heard it said that all you need is three chords and the truth, and that’s a good thing, as that’s all I have.

And I’m even a bit bereft in the truth department.

But today was just a bit different; it wasn’t about playing a song, but only strumming one chord, then listening carefully as each of the individual strings rang out, their voices then fading slowly back into the void from whence they came. Then again. And again, sound fading into silence. It occured to me that silence before the note was struck was not as absolute as the void left after the note was gone. As it is with us, each of us a complimentary note within a chord, chords strung together to make a song; we all matter, and when we stop vibrating, we are all missed.

And vibration is what it’s all about. The attack of the pick striking the strings begins the process, the vibration of the string amplified by the interior of the guitar then rippling out through the sound hole. But when the strings stop moving, the sound fades away, until struck again, and again; will the striking never end?

But the striking produces movement, and in movement there is life.

Gotta keep moving; we’ve come too far to give up now.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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