Radio Quarantine – Gevorg Dabagian – Armenian Duduk Music

It’s too late already this morning to get into a research project on Armenian duduk music and the artist, Gevorg Dabagian, but it’s about the sound anyway. There’s something about sitting around in mid-summer heat that forces a shift to more earthy, organic sounds. Heat melts digital and demands an analog flow. Let’s save the history lesson for… well… historians and musicians. There are people better qualified to take care of that.

It’s a restless morning for me, with no good reason, but truly the summer months have never been my favorite. It’s not to say it’s a time of melancholy but they’ve always felt less than vibrant. Some people get energized by the sun and the heat but I find myself longing for the chill of autumn and winds from the North. That sounds dreadfully forced in a bad poetry sense but where are the words? Nothing against the summer itself. It’s got its charms to which I am surely not immune. It just brings a restlessness I can’t explain. It becomes harder to engage in the day by day and neighborly conversations with people sitting out late into the evening. Go inside and leave me! No small talk, please. I’m not good at it!

And now I’m laughing at myself, as you see I said, it’s not a time of sadness or being exactly anti-social. It’s more a lazy torpor.

My younger boy Evan turns 26 today. I remember so clearly the moment he was born, long and birdlike and blue with the umbilical wrapped several times around his neck. The pulse monitor stopped momentarily and I looked nervously between this little creature in the doctor’s hands and the machines. This simply could not be! But then the monitor jumped into green spikes and less than a minute later the boy was nursing with the cord still attached. These are the reasons that people believe in gods and angels. It can seem so uncanny, despite that all creatures do this, that this new life is all of a sudden there. If it were as random and fragile as it can feel when witnessing it, there wouldn’t be 6 billion of us and counting. Yet when you are there in the moment watching it happen it does seem like a miracle. It’s like this singular person was destined to happen.

Now at 26 he is so unlike anyone I’ve ever even imagined, it seems no less miraculous. I still can’t make the leap of faith though and in my mind it remains hundreds of thousands of often imperceptible seconds, an equation with a mathematical trajectory with only one conclusion; this specific person. I don’t think he can even wrap his own mathematical mind around how blown away I am by his uniqueness.

That’s where my head is at, really. I miss living with Evan. It could be weird at times that such a quiet young man could have such a huge presence. We never shared lengthy conversations but we always communicated beyond language. What we really shared were moments and a bond in those moments. I never had to explain how I was experiencing those moments and the feelings they brought on. He was just always right there in the same event, no matter how large or small.

There was always mystery too, and that was difficult. I worried endlessly that he was self-isolating and in some kind of danger. It was probably for no good reason but that’s what parents do. What was I worried for? Was it that he was so unique and different that he would never find a happy place in all of this, or was that all just projection? All that still remains to be seen. There was probably a fair amount of both, legitimate concern and projection. We all have those tenuous, tightrope moments, especially as young men.

I’ve come to believe that he never needed so desperately to fit in as I did at the same age. The need was there certainly but my need was a black hole with its own gravitational pull. Projection was a given with my only my own experience. Evan didn’t reject the central position in any given circle. He just didn’t feel the draw as much as I did. As I said, he is… different.

I’m running behind though… Time to move.

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