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Swimming: The Search For Frankie

If anyone ever wrote the story of my friendship with Frankie, people would probably say it sounds too good to be true. But that's how special our friendship has always been, and that's why the worst day of my life was the day Frankie fell. I'll never forget hearing that splash, and then just watching in horror as he slipped deeper and deeper into the darkness of the water. Even though I desperately wanted to try to save him, I'd always had this terrible fear of the water. I've never felt so helpless, or so scared, or so alone in my whole life. And just like that, he was gone.

Everyone kept saying that he's in a better place now, but I knew that couldn't be true. I knew that wherever he was had to be a scary place, and I knew that I would have to be the one to go and save him. That's why the moment I got home I locked myself away and started working on my plan to rescue Frankie. It took every ounce of my strength and all of the ability that I could muster, and as the hours passed I never even thought of stopping to rest. My big plan gradually took shape as the night wore on, until at last I was finished with my creation. It was the thing that could take me on the most important voyage of my life. I called it the big fish. When I finally made my way back to my room, all I could think about was finding Frankie. I shut the door, turned out the light, and tried to wait as long as I could for mom to nod off to sleep. Then I took my big fish out to the dock and shoved it into the water. For the first time in my life, I was ready to go swimming.

I was...

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Once there was a boy named Linus. Linus and his family lived in a cottage near a great forest. Every day Linus would run about and play in the edge of this forest while his father worked in a modest lumber yard nearby. He longed to go exploring deep into the forest, but he was never allowed to go so far that he could not hear the great saws at the lumber yard where his father worked. So Linus loved the dark hours of the night, because during those hours he could sneak into the back yard and pretend that he was exploring the dark heart of the forest.

One night while he was rambling through the make-believe forest in his back yard, Linus accidentally stumbled over the boards and fell into the well. A strange feeling came over him as he fell, and in a moment Linus suddenly felt so light and airy that it seemed he was not falling at all. He never remembered hitting the bottom of the well, and in fact he never remembered anything at all about his life before he fell down the well. He knew that he was different now than he was before, but he couldn't remember what he had been, or even that his name had been Linus. He asked himself again and again, what is my name? What is my name? After what seemed like a very long time, he thought he remembered that his name was Nilus. He was relieved that he could remember this name, and with a sigh he lay down and fell quickly to sleep right where he was.

When he awoke the next day, Nilus squinted into the air above him. As his eyes came into focus, he saw a great web of branches high above him, and a thick cover of leaves that blocked out every...

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I don't have an ending for this setup. Maybe somebody else does?

Two people are standing in an airport. Both are holding signs that read "Fredward Copperknocker". One of them is dressed in a chauffeur's uniform. The other is wearing jeans, a ragged shirt, and flip flops. The chauffeur notices the other person, double-checks his own sign, and then nervously approaches the other.

Chauffeur: Are you... can I help you?

Flip flops: Hey! Are you Fredward Copperknocker?

Chauffeur: No. No I... wait, why would I be holding a sign with my own name on it?

Flip flops: I don't know man, it's your life. Maybe you get lost easily?

Chauffeur: No I... no. I'm a chauffeur, I'm here to pick up Fredward Copperknocker.

Flip flops: Oh wow! Small world, am I right? I'm here to pick up a guy named Fredward Copperknocker too!

Chauffeur: Yes, I saw your sign. There must be some mistake.

Flip flops: Well, not necessarily, right? So, think about this: we could be picking up two different Fredward Copperknockers.

Chauffeur: I don't... that seems unlikely. I mean, do you know a lot of people named Fredward? Or Copperknocker, for that matter?

Flip flops: Yeah, well I know some Fredwards.

Chauffeur: You know some Fredwards?

Flip flops: I know some Fredwards. But I mean, I don't go around calling them Fredward all the time, I just call them Fred, or Freddy, or Your Honor, or what-have-you.

Chauffeur: Well, OK. I guess. But still, you can't possibly know anyone named Copperknocker, it's obviously a made-up name.

Flip flops: Oh ho, not so fast, compadre! When I was a kid we lived in a town with a whole bunch of...

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I love RECording voice for this kind of writing, it's so much fun for me. So there's no way I could resist taking a shot at the Getting to Know Your Mom project.

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I knew when I read Metaphorest's RECord this morning that I wanted to do a reading of it. So I took the bait, gladly.

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Yo mama's so dumb that she thinks Verdi composed Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Yo mama's so dumb that she thinks Antonioni made films with just as much transhistorical interiority as Bergman's films.

Yo mama's so dumb that she sees no similarities between the "Scherzo" movement in Tchaikovsky's Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor and the "Spring" "Largo" movement from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Yo mama's so dumb that when anyone mentions historically significant librettists she only talks about Metastasio.

Yo mama's so dumb that she dismisses the artistic value of Greek vases because she thinks they actually originated in Etruria DESPITE the preponderance of Greek inscriptions.

Yo mama's so dumb that she thinks American Abstract Expressionism was just a politically-motivated response to Socialist Realism because that was the aesthetic preference in Soviet-era Russia.

In a solitary room two children stand facing each other in silence. Their arms are outstretched towards each other, physically holding the darkness at bay to keep it from spilling into the world they guard. They are engaged in a constant struggle to balance the darkness between them as though they were metallic barriers opposing some unseen magnetic force. Young Olaf and Gelsomina were born to this unrelenting task, and they are locked into the darkness they hold between them. They are engulfed in the shroud they are sworn to keep at bay. Their small determined limbs circumscribe a gentle circle that conducts the surging current of night between them without letting it seep past them into the world that they have never yet seen with their own eyes.

A nightingale is perched in the east corner of the cramped room. She sings songs of sustenance that nourish the children as they perform their duties. The nightingale's song is their food and their sleep, their drug and their conversation. The bittersweet song serves as the umbilical cord for the children, and it permits them to be devoted ceaselessly and tirelessly to their duties. The wordless melodies paint pictures for Olaf and Gelsomina of the world that they protect and the people that inhabit it. The nightingale's voice is the most beautiful sound anyone from the outside world has ever known. But the nightingale has such profound respect and admiration for these two children that she only ever sings her songs for them.

In the west corner of this solitary room stands a giant hourglass. According to the legends portrayed in the nightingale's song, the hourglass measures the time that the children must continue to perform their duties. If and when the sands ever run out, the children will be freed from their lives of service so that they may live as honored heroes in the outside world. The nightingale's song foretells of another pair of children who will be born with the same gifts that Olaf and Gelsomina use to keep the darkness contained. It takes a great deal of strength to resist the urge to watch the sands trickle down in the giant hourglass, almost as much strength as it takes to fend off the menacing midnight fog that requires the children's full devotion.

Days pass unsuspectingly in the outside world as the sands continue to trickle slowly down, and the nightingale continues to sing, and young Olaf and Gelsomina continue to make their stand in the secret, solitary room of their young existence.


This is an expansion on mushr's wonderful ideas presented a few days ago in her RECord called The Century (volume one). I introduced the nightingale into that setting she created and elaborated on some of the other ideas. It has been too too long since mushr and I last swapped ideas through RECords like these. 


Here is my first reading from the letters of Henry Adam Wood - this one of the 22nd by tootwofoursquare. I'm definitely making plans to read more of these letters - I'm a big fan of this collaboration.

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Two customers are waiting to be helped in a small shop.

SECOND IN LINE: Excuse me?

FIRST IN LINE: (silence)

SECOND IN LINE: Excuse me?!?!

FIRST IN LINE: I... sorry, I don't work here.

SECOND IN LINE: Are you Bo Jack?

FIRST IN LINE: (anxiously looks for help)

SECOND IN LINE: I'm speaking to you ma'am, are you Bo Jack?

FIRST IN LINE: No, I'm not... I'm actually a... male. A man. I'm not Bo Jack, I'm waiting to be helped.

SECOND IN LINE: (cutting him off) Hello! Is somebody here?!

POP: (emerging) Hello, yes! I'm Pop, may I help you with something?

SECOND IN LINE: Finally! A little service! Actually, this mailman was here first.

FIRST IN LINE: I'm not...

POP: Hello good sir, welcome to Bo Jack's Lollipop Repair, may I help you with something?

FIRST IN LINE: I'm not a... mailman. I'm just a... regular... man.

POP: Isn't that wonderful!

SECOND IN LINE: He told me he was a mailman.

FIRST IN LINE: I didn't mean... I was just trying to say that I'm not a... you called me ma'am so I...

POP: Can't I help you with something, sir?

FIRST IN LINE: Yes of course, sorry. I'm a producer for the midday show on channel 7. From time to time we...

SECOND IN LINE: Is this an exposé on a rat problem?

FIRST IN LINE: Well no, this... rat problem?

POP: We don't have a rat problem.

SECOND IN LINE: Last week you did an exposé on the rat problem at Shaky's Science Center.

FIRST IN LINE: Oh, you saw that! That was one of my segments.

SECOND IN LINE: It was awful. (to Pop) It turned out there wasn't a rat problem, those were Shaky's own pet rats. He uses them to demonstrate science.

POP: Oh dear.

FIRST IN LINE: There was a lot...

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And So It Begins

First there was a Ringmaster, and before anything else he set up a tent with three rings.  The rings were empty, and the Ringmaster strolled quietly throughout the tent.  The Ringmaster went to the first ring, and in the first ring he evoked wonder, and the wonder made a distinction between the unordinary and the ordinary.  The Ringmaster found this sense of wonder to be delightful, and he pondered this as he stepped out of the first ring.

The Ringmaster went to the second ring, and in the second ring he evoked amusement, and the amusement made a distinction between the funny and the serious.  The Ringmaster found this sense of amusement to be enjoyable, and he pondered this as he stepped out of the second ring.

The Ringmaster went to the third ring, and in the third ring he didn’t evoke anything in particular, but he did reflect on the sense of wonder he had in the first ring and the sense of amusement he had in the second ring.  As he reflected on these things he was inspired by the unordinary and the funny, and this gave him a new perspective on the ordinary and the serious.  His head was filled with all sorts of ideas when he stepped out of the third ring.

The First Ring

The Ringmaster found himself swimming and soaring inside his own head, afloat and adrift in the ideas that were coming to life in his mind.  He was startled into an awareness that he was not alone, but he was reluctant to leave the cocoon of his thoughts.  Eventually his awareness grew irresistible, and he began remembering his own form, and then suddenly he plummeted back into his body.  He...

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Even after uploading "The Anglerpod Waits and Waits", and getting lots of great feedback, I continued having ideas for that video. So I've revisited the beginning bit and the ending bit a bit, filling in empty spots and putting a new shine on it.

If you're interested in remixing this, the higher resolution can be found here:
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