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Thimbles, Rhythms & Natures of Things - Part 2

Updated on December 12, 2012



Rhythm is an invisible action or quality, not a 'thing'. However and wherever it is perceived, bear in mind there is underlying rhythm intrinsic to all things, not just music, where it is most easily noticed. Music itself is invisible waves within a sound spectrum to which we humans are sensitive to hearing only a narrow band of its sound waves, though we also possess ability to sense more subtle intrinsic "music" or rhythm in all things we are able to perceive.

That said, it is a rhymic universe in which we live. There is a 'music of the spheres' as well as the music in hills and waters, often perceived only by the most sensitive souls who have allowed it to make itself known to them.

I'm ever aware of whether or not my poetry has its own rhythm. If I sense that its rhythm is minimal, then, for me, the words are merely prose, not poetry. This quality has little to do with whether any of its words rhyme, fall into a traditional meter or possess other poetic landmarks. It is simply an essential rhythm one is aware of as its words are being read silently or recited aloud and perceived. So whether the perception is of the audible sound of it, or merely as a personal response, the sense of its rhythm or of its lack is felt or noticed. It's almost an indefinable, yet a visceral experience; one simply knows it when it is there and clearly, intuitively misses it if it is lacking, however vaguely the actual difference is or is consciously noted. Even "poetic prose" embodies this sense of rhythm in it. The words may be "everyday", without floweriness, rhyme, alliteration, simile - but they have an internal "beat", a subtle rhythm of their own in those lines and in that arrangement. One knows - this is poetry.

I love Emily Dickinson's definition of poetry. She tells her only-ever mentor, Thomas Higginson, whom she called her 'perceptor":

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. - Is there any other way?”

I have to agree.

So- therein lay the difference in poetry and prose, I think. At least, to me, it is.


Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμόςrhythmos, "any regular recurring motion,symmetry

In the performance arts, rhythm is the timing of events on a human scale; of musical sounds and silences, of the steps of a dance, or the meter of spoken language and poetry.

Prose is the most typical form of written language, applying ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech, rather than rhythmic structure, as in traditional poetry.

___Definitions Source:


Some animal species posses auditory sensitivity to receive and perceive more of the sound spectrum than humans. Judging by their instantaneous and agitated responses to them, they seem to be physically pained by those ultra-sonic sounds.

Perhaps all animals, - perhaps all living things, - are responsive to sound stimuli. I've noticed birds on the patio pausing to notice and cock their heads as though to better hear when I'm playing my piano, humming or attempting to sing. They seem to lack a harsh critical gene, unlike my cat, Toulouse,- who always howled when I sang, though he just looked contentedly somnolent when I played the piano! PIcky, picky! But it's obvious that animals have awareness of and response to elements of music and rhythm.

Rhythm which exists in the sound spectrum, or is perceived by other species, however, are subjects for more scientific focus and are not what is being considered here.

We are looking at the more esoteric quality of rhythm of which a person may or may not be consciously aware, may even overlook - or under-look - in the daily rush of events. It exists in non-auditory features of our lives as well as the auditory and may be written on our DNA from our earliest contacts with our earthly experience, either as our species or as individual members of it. In any case, it is fully worth awareness and cultivation.

Of course, it's in music that rhythm is most easily identified as rhythm, though its essence is also what characterizes it wherever it is found or potentially found.

Extremely insistent musical rhythms are seldom overlooked and easily capture the attention and emotions of people who may otherwise be unaware of rhythms around them. In fact, each new generation tends to ferret out and claim as their own a sound and rhythm different from former generations. These become their generational identity, expressing their separateness and independence. Most of us have been in both roles in our lifetimes!

Naturally, parents are often exasperated by this! My mother called much of my 'popular' music "monotonous". To me, hers seemed draggy.

In my personal music catalogue, beginning with the earlier Broadway musical composers from preceding decades such as the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Rogers & Hart and Rodgers & Hammerstein, - among my favorites, back then and usually rendered in the Charleston mode or a sing-song manner of those those earlier years during the epochs in which they'd been composed, those rather tedious times in which vocalists tended to all sound alike or else sound like refugees from the Burlesque, which they may have been.

Then along came the big bands beloved by my elder siblings, when singers were beginning to venture into more personal signature sound and swing rhythms, along with jitterbug, nonsense lyrics,"Frankie" hero-worship, (to which I enthusiastically subscribed), crowding around the juke boxes at the local soda bar, inserting coins, and listening to "Your Hit Parade" on on radio every Saturday night. Movie sound themes brought in other special music and rhythms which flooded the field of "new" stuff.

Then the early 50s brought me the much smoother, "cooler" music then popular as I advanced to college and on into early married life. This included sweeping music like "Ebb Tide", sentimental ballads, silkiy Latin rhythms and sophisticated upbeat danceable themes. I loved it all. This preceded the advent of the big bang of rock music of the late 50s and throughout the 60s with the Beatles, Elvis and all their imitators and other innovators, to give partner with and give way to the Disco craze of the 70s and all that has followed and/or been revived and updated up till now! It's amusing to hear really old pieces being sung by new artists who seem to accept them as "current".

Meanwhile, buying the sheet music and playing the piano kept me "up with it" and reasonably "current", even when my life centered and revolved around the small confines of my home and marriage. My records and my piano always "played" a major role in my life, in fact, at least as significant as my writing and other outlets.

The antique pump organ

Mother loved music and had a lovely pump organ when she was a child. Her beloved father gave it to her when she was twelve. He died that same year. How she treasured that instrument! It was very difficult for a little tyke to play, though. My legs wouldn't reach the "pump pedals", much less pump them while seated on the bench to reach the keys!

But what she really would have preferred was for me to play the harp and I thought that would be great, too. But, alas, Del Rio had no actual music store for any variety of instruments, nor any harp teachers, had one been available. It was piano or nothing for Nellieanna. Happily, it suited me well.

By lucky break, there was a self-proclaimed piano teacher who needed a studio for giving her students lessons; and down on the end of Main Street, there happened to be a vacant lot just past the Piggly-Wiggly grocery for lease with no code restrictions in that town. And here was a Mother with a kid who could benefit from lessons, and the Mother who happened to have acquired a very small early-style travel trailer which she needed to park somewhere so Dad wouldn't be alarmed that she might be planning it for an art trip, - which, of course, WAS her ultimate plan! Ah, the tangled webs . . .

So a mutual exchange was agreed upon and young Nellieanna embarked upon some real piano lessons in that little travel trailer near the Piggly Wiggly.

By the way, Dad accepted my new-found acceleration of piano playing with appreciative, if stoic, calm approval. He loved the classics, and was especially fond of Strauss waltzes. I suppose that, so long as my playing was in keeping with those kinds of music, he was quite happy for me to take lessons and play the piano. Never-mind that he never knew the shady details or inquired into what way the lessons were being funded! He never stinted when it came to spending on educational things, so he just didn't question it, I guess! Plus, Mother was expert at being able to obtain her art supplies inconspicuously - while writing an unidentified dollar check here and another dollar check there. (I know this because tangible proof of those cancelled checks from then still occupy a file box in the bottom of my closet!)

In any case and in all aspects, it was a lovely period for me.

Main Sreet in Del Rio facing north in the earlier days when I was a kid
Main Sreet in Del Rio facing north in the earlier days when I was a kid
Parade on Main Street, looking south toward the Piggly-Wiggly end of the street :-)
Parade on Main Street, looking south toward the Piggly-Wiggly end of the street :-)

Before I can introduce my own deeper relationship with music, and particurly with piano, I must mention how another phase of this hub's sequence relates to it; namely: 'The Natures of Things'.

The nature of things applies not only to sewing and sensing rhythms and feeling the essence of music, but to plumbing the truest natures of all things and relationships in our environment.

One's personal odyssey into It begins with HUMAN NATURE: both our own and others', if we are ever to begin to understand "What's It All About, Alfie" - as the Bacharach-David song explores.

The underlying causes, quality and very foundations of life here on Earth relate and revolve around really understanding 'the nature of things'. If not, we merely mechanically go through the motions unawares, like me trying to "practice" on my little toy piano when we were at the ranch, where there was no other piano for me to play. I tried to keep my little fingers limber, but the tinny output was discouraging.

Consider the clashes between other people and within our environment; - they hinge on overlooking inability to communicate, due to lack of a simple recognition and understanding that there ARE inherent, 'given' natures to all the parts and when we ignore or undermine them, they fail to mesh and to work properly, much like using incorrect tips on an electric drill or using liniment instead of vanilla in a cake batter. (Mother did that once, by the way!)

In a word, - when we misfire it, it backfires.

So bear with me. I'll try to not be too "monotonous". :-)

And - thank you in advance for sticking with this and following along this far. Part 3 of this hub's sequence will soon be available, too. I hope it will prove worth your while for your kindness of indulging me!

It is proving valuable to me.

Hugs -Nellieanna

We may never know

But it is here -

This thing

That makes it real.

If, in our time,

We mention it,

It is to

Better feel.

Else we might never know

The rhythmic peal

That makes it

Dance and sing.

Yet, if while we play

We discover it

So it becomes

A truly magic thing!

______© Nellieanna H. Hay


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    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      It's been transferred. ;-)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      This possibly struck a personal chord and I'm not comfortable discussing it on HP, so please contact me on FB or email.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I wouldn't call it flexible and I certainly hope that doesn't imply you've lost confidence in mine! When I said it isn't a secret per say, I meant it is a private matter and not a deep dark secret, just personal things that when shared are done in intimacy of friendship and trust. Private things are private for a reason and one can generally tell what is and isn't such without having to be told by the personal nature of exchanges made. I'm simply saying that prayer requests for loved ones is not something I consider to be a bad thing and, as I said, a gossip discussion or a discussion of any sort is not necessary in that regard. My point was that those that gossip to you will gossip about you - so, yes, confidentiality is important to me and I don't pay much attention to idle gossip.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      I'm surprised that you learned 'I'm In The Mood For Love'. It was a 1940s popular song! I guess it was like my learning Stephen Foster, whose era was long before my own. haha.

      It's enlightening to realize the flexibility of your concept of confidentiality.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I suppose it was a broad musical exposure, though I didn't really think of it that way at the time. Now that you mention it, I think I even had to learn "I'm in the Mood for Love."

      I think misunderstandings occur online especially because whenever one is reading something someone else wrote, one must also interpret the connotations of the words being used without any voice inflection to indicate possible connotations or intent. It's almost like reading a novel in which one applies feeling and intent to the words as interpreted in his or her own head. . .unless otherwise adequate description as to how something is said is provided, which doesn't occur with general communication. How funny it would be to narrate ourselves. hehe

      Privacy is important, yes, and confidentiality even more so, especially when others know the person held in confidence. Sometimes, it can easy to assume a "secret" is some massive or horrible thing, but generally it is just a private matter and not really a secret per say. I might ask someone else to pray on a friend's behalf, but details beyond what is already made known, if even that, are not necessary for prayer, especially personal ones. And if someone else assumes a prayer request means dark secret when it may not necessarily be, I suppose assuming is. . .um. ..well, you know the saying. Haha.

      But, anyway, I generally don't pay much attention when someone is talking to me about someone else's business. The "I know something you don't know" doesn't bother me a bit. My thoughts are more along the lines of "why should I care about the goings on in the lives of people I don't even know?" Moving from a small town, I am even more aware of that phenomena because people knew things about me that I didn't even know! And people asked me about people I didn't know. Even asked about those I did know, I didn't respond with the "juicy" answer so obviously desired. Gossip is much like the children's game of "telephone" and by the time the information got back to me about me, it was so distorted or only a half truth that it is laughable. Unless someone tells me directly or a trusted source is sharing info out of caring, I generally don't think twice about it.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      Sounds like you had a broad musical repertoire & exposure, Shan. From little children's ditties to the Beatles to Mozart! Impressive!

      My musical education encompassed many genres, too. The first song I recall playing was "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", which I may have picked out by ear before I learned to read music. I also liked Mother's favorite hymn, "In The Garden" and played it early-on. I learned to play the music in a Stephen Foster songbook and began playing my older sister's sheet music - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, I'm In The Mood For Love, It Can't Be Wrong. Between the lyrics to those sexy 'love songs' and my other sister's racy Ilka Chase novels, little Nellieanna got an education. haha.

      The little toy piano I could take to the ranch was so frustrating, with its tinny sound and limited keyboard. Seems I've always relied on playing the piano & needed one for part of my self-expression, sometimes almost my sanity. It was the only piece of 'furniture' I bought myself when I was first divorced. I couldn't be without one.

      I had an excellent memory for music till that disaster of a recital. Ever since, I always read every note I play, even when I actually 'know' the music well. I sort of like it that way. Oh, I can sit down and pick out melodies of any song I know and can compose original music, sort of the 'new age' variety. I guess I'm a musical anomaly. My music is very private, though. I still freeze up if I have an audience - except that George got so he could sit down quietly and listen. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

      But privacy is important, isn't it? I knew someone who was very proud of his confidentiality with others' secrets, but he was eager and lavish with letting people know that he knew their secrets, but wouldn't disclose them. The results, of course, were that people assumed there were much bigger (or worse) secrets than they were! I prefer no one even knows I have any inkling of others' secrets. They scarcely know I know the person, much less anything private about him/her It's part of the confidentiality to me. I find this is especially essential online, where misinterpretations are so 'normal'. I've been more revealing to you than to anyone else in this regard. I've trusted your confidentiality.

      I had regular tape recorders but sort of missed out on real 'boom boxes'. Had no real need of one, I guess. haha.

      Running hurts everything for me. But fast, brisk walking - other than on pavement - doesn't hurt anything.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Good points. I don't linger on hard feelings or hurt feelings if and when they occur, . And I see no point in really trying to figure out someone else's motives (other than psychology and human interaction fascinates me) because immediate motives may not represent overall motives, which is generally all that matters in the long run. To me, understanding what someone else was/is perceiving from my limited view of his or her perspective and if and usually only if he or she does the same, misunderstandings might be avoided. Of course, as a good psych friend of mine and I discussed the other night, that propensity to figure out the human mind may be the very thing that causes or perpetuates misunderstandings. And yet - the world would be quite boring if everyone were telepaths. Hahaha Am I boring you with my "psycho babble" that is not supported by any real theory here? :-p

      Trust me, I am not a person that didn't play in front of people because I didn't like my standards - well, okay, I was- but I sounded like total crap! The nice thing about concerts was that I could get lost in the rest of the orchestra, at least attempting ot make harmonious sounds. hehe. I remember Legends of the Fall and actually playing YMCA for a concert. Even did I Want to Hold Your Hand. And of course the Mozart pieces and such. Did Pomp and Circumstance one year for graduation of seniors.

      I do remember Mary Had a Little Lamb by fingers used. Haha Helps it only required two strings. 2-1-0-1-2-2-2-1-1-1-2-0-0-2-1-0-1-2-2-2-2-1-1-2-1-0. I can do Twinkle Twinkle Little Star the same way. Haha And those are probably the only two songs I can co on a piano as a result - if you call that piano playing.

      Cassette tapes and walkmans! Wow! You even take me back with that mention! It was the must have after boom boxes. I used to record music that was upbeat to sort of march in place to from the radio or another cassette onto a cassette tape. Running hurt my knees and I didn't always walk alone.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      Each person prioritizes and orders the choice before him/her in every moment of every day. It's quite personal and the order and priority may change for the same person at various times & in various circumstances. Even similar priorities in two individuals may take on different forms & expressions at different times. The basic underlying traits of a person - impatience, preoccupation - and a jillion more also add their influences to the way one sees things and how one orders and prioritizes them in the course of the day. It's absurd to attempt to justify any motive or decision, especially very personal ones which only affect the one making it. These variables are why giving others benefit of the doubt is almost always advisable. And if others do or don't give it to oneself, one still must give it to oneself and move forward from that point. Having to explain one's own reasons can eat up the moments in which they've already resolved themselves and evolved on anyway. ;-) As a pastime or indulgence, it's often not what the other person prefers as a priority anyway. Many motives are better demonstrated than explained. Lingering over them is not one of my personal priorities. It wears me out, in fact.

      That picture you make of the woman with the bunny head sewing sounds like something from Madd magazine. haha- or SNL. As you say, it needed no rhyme or reason because it was what you happened to express at the time. It sounds interesting.

      I'm sure I also have heard my music better than it really is/was. But I think I do have a keen ear for what I recognize as "making music" - in contrast to just playing notes. I'm always pleased when I do that. I've always rated my efforts by both improvement and by hitting that kind of a personal standard which makes sense to me and fills my soul.

      I knew someone who would never perform for anyone, not because of shyness, but because her own standards were so high she was never satisfied enough to let anyone hear her play. Oh well.

      Yes, I did dance around the track to a lot of disco. I'd always exercised on my own to brisk beats. Needed a good uppy beat. No waltzes or moon-music for those activities. I liked The YMCA, Celebration, Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, That's The Way I Like It, several Barry White's - and many more, just for example.

      I still have the Sony CD Walkman, still like new in it's little shoulder strap bag, containing 4 or 5 extra CDs, with good walking music on them. and earphones, which I carried on all my track treks.

      It was prior to iPods and iTunes. Wow! - how great that would be! - My iPhone has over 100 iTunes on it, not necessarily selected for walking, but I could add these CDs to it! Think I'll do just that, anyway. I love these tunes! Oh, the convenience. I was in my own little world on that track back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, walking to this music! In my dream house, there would be an indoor track! I love to walk but pavement kills my feet and legs. Maybe I'll wear it around the house & when I go to the store and walk to it in my regular activities. It would get odd looks, though. haha. I'm not sure I could record myself walking, I walk so fast and briskly! ;-)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      It's true that time must be prioritized; it's easy to get wrapped up in things of pleasure so that other things either of pleasure or necessity get neglected. As for saying it is for the benefit of someone else, I think that goes both ways. It may very well be for the benefit of someone else, but even in that, there is personal value or one would not be doing it in the first place. To me, people are important even if I am doing my own thing and the other person his or her own thing but in the same presence. Sometimes there is no need to say a word or to converse in order to enjoy a person's company. Other times, there is great value in losing time enjoying someone else's company or in providing an ear for a moment's relief to someone else's problems. The problem with judging time spent online is whether or not it is of any value at all, at least for me. I am often complained to for being online so much, yet much of what I do when I am able has to do with something of great personal value to me and I know I would not be doing anything else of any greater value at that point in time anyway. For instance, spending time reading on HubPages verses reading a book or watching a movie. Both the later two have entertainment value and I could easily get lost in a book for hours on end without any regard for time. At least on HP, I have more breaking points to do other things in between reads. Haha. Movies allow for multi-tasking as well, but I can get lost in them as well if I allow myself. Then there is the ability on sites like HP to gain value from interacting with other writers and getting to know others. And Facebook, which allows me to keep up with friends and family without necessarily chatting all day long. . .kind of like being in one's company while doing something all my own.. . even though there are times when conversations become intense on FB, perhaps only in play. I think my point is that if there is a deeper self-fulfilling value to be had by spending time engaged in something online, why worry so much - aside from making sure health priorities and financial ones, and other priorities of real importance are being met? There are simply too many interesting things to do and hobbies that could be pursued if time permitted. So, be good at a few things or try many? 'Tis a question to often be re-evaluated, at least for me - which might be some of the reason for my impatience when it comes to sketching and drawing.

      Speaking of both sewing and art, I found a picture I made in high school of what appears to be a woman sewing a piece of cloth, but she has a bunny head. No rhyme or reason to it. Just what I drew. LOL. Maybe I'll send you a picture of it later. Even in that, you can see hints of my impatience. But, music.. . . I did have a strong desire to sound like those great violinists, but I got frustrated with it very easily that I couldn't keep up. So I admire those that can play instruments well.

      I think I recall you saying something once before about dancing around the track. haha To disco? Drop some moves now and record them for all to see. :p Just kidding.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      I wouldn't want or expect you to be pressed to plough through this lengthy series in one sitting - or many, for that matter, except at your own prompting and wish to, & as time permits.

      Yes - those Del Rio pictures bring back many early memories for me. Funny about childhood memories, - how sometimes elusive a single moment can be, yet so vivid. There was a 'Cigar Store' - as they were called then - on the corner I passed by on my walk home from school. They sold candy there, too, so I'd sometimes stop and spend my small fortune on a stick of candy or a package of gum. The aromas of that place were positively seductive: - the special cigars and pipe tobaccos, which my own environment lacked. No one at our house smoked. There was something so exotic about that!

      I'm not all that good a musician. I've never had any illusions about being a great musician. I just love it and always am energized by it, in any capacity. My early stage fright pretty much squelched any further talent I might have developed.

      I do get better when I play regularly but it's another of my interests which has become neglected as I spend too much time online. I've been giving thought to that quote by Carl Sandburg which I posted on my FB timeline recently about time being the coin of one's life and the only one, which only oneself can invest; - or words to that effect.

      So often one finds oneself engaged in time-consuming activities online which are of negligible real importance to one's life, yet there have gone one's moments, hours, days - weeks, sometimes. No one asks one why one does it. It's up to oneself to think, prioritize and make choices. It's so easy to think that maybe it's benefitting someone else, but more often than not that is even of more negligible importance than what it is for oneself. Almost anything one does can have some rational justification but when one begins to look at the time available, there appear to be some that have higher priority than others. Being the sort who always overestimates the time and underestimates the distance, it's so easy to fall into a habit of burning my candle at both ends, as the old saying goes! haha.

      I always wanted to dance - and satisfied that desire by dancing all around the house to music I'd play on a phonograph. Dad's Mennonite background frowned on dancing and the school where I was sent forbade it, though. So I contented myself with standing on my toes like a ballerina and waltzing around the house - till Harriet convinced Dad I needed a broader education at SMU and persuaded him to let me have Arthur Murray ballroom dancing lessons. I also took Modern Dance as a Physical Education choice one semester. My best dancing with a partner, oddly enough, was with my first husband, whose strong lead made me look better than I was! hehe. Over the years, I still danced around the house a lot. I'm better dancing alone than with a partner, actually. All those years of doing it by myself around the house, I suppose. Even when I walked the indoor track at the gym in the years George & I went to it (it was where he had his initial heart attack), - with my trusty music playing - I almost danced around it!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Okay, had intents of finishing your series, but I must go to sleep instead. I will be back to finish, though!

      I particularly like the inclusion of the main street pictures.

      I am not surprised that you have a love of music or that you play an instrument. I'm sure you are much better than I ever was at playing anything. I'd love to learn the guitar, and love the idea of playing the violin. But, truth be told, I never could keep up with everyone else that had lessons and could never even hope to aspire toward the first seat in the orchestra. It always sounded so much better in my head than when I attempted it, and just when I learned a part slowly, it would be sped up on me so that I was struggling again. Good lessons learned, though: I can read music and I still appreciate it.

      So, just curious. . .did you indulge in any dancing?

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      Hello, Gwen! I'm really pleased that you found and visited this hub! It's part of a series, and he 4th part is all about pianos and my love of them. I play - - but read every note. I love and enjoy it -- especially when I feel i'm "making music", which occasionally happens.

      But am not an accomplished pianist. As you say - and thank you for it! - I do have a personal rhythm which I think modulates everything I do. I'm happy to have that. We all have some talents more clearly than others. But if I'm asked what I wish I could do better, it would be in the area of music. Yet I'm not dissatisfied with what I do have in that area. I'm thankful for it.

      So you see, your personal connections with music are simply how you do it. Music is and should be personal - what you feel and what you enjoy trying. You may have more talent you've never let shine though!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have never had piano lessons, but I do like to play my keyboard by ear. I don't know the notes written down on paper or what and how the tempo is set, except that of the automatic beat of my keyboard which plays those given...usually of tone and the rhythm buttons. I can hear the music I grew up with in my head and sometimes can play it, by fingering the song while adding a chosen rhythm to it. But more than likely, I'm not that good at it. At least not in the way I know one might be, when usually taught when taking lessons. But, I liked your hub! It comes across as very insightful and written with an intellectual mind. You do have a rhythm all your own you know, Nellianna. : ) I bet your music sounds just like magic.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Leroy- I'm pleased that you mentioned and brought out the rhythm in buildings! I have a lot of feeling for buildings, too, and of course - there is rhythm in the lines of a building, in its balance and relationship with the earth - everything. Thank you!

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      The subject of rhythm is of interest to me, although I tend to think in terms of a buildings rhythm. It's tied to how people walk through it, or how it relates to a car. I bookmarked this hub to read closer.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Ken - Ah. I love guitar too - to hear. I have no idea how to play. My son wanted to play it, but as I mentioned, he wasn't allowed to. I agree with what you say, that when you introduce a child to an instrument, it will often come back to him later as a real passion.

      Thank you so much for those wonderful compliments, Ken. Yes, I have spent some years observing and muddling through Life until at some point, chunks of it have fallen into clearer perspective, making sense and ceasing to be fragmented. It becomes clarified and simpler to look at & to live in my present and to look more forward to the future. Those memories remind me how valuable it is to live "now" and possibly to be valuable to share with others who have experienced or are experiencing and working through similar things of their own.

      I feel very fortunate to receive many refreshing & valuable comments here which could become hubs on their own, too.

      I understand about getting to all the good hubs to be read and followed. Sometimes I wish I had more hours in the day! But what a privilege and pleasure it is to have access to many good writers here,of whom you're among the top. I deeply appreciate both your own writings and your wonderful comments about mine!

      Hugs & thanks!

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Life is all about rhythms. I picked up learning how to play a guitar at an early age and didn't go far without it by my side. I loved to play, actually played it more back then than I do now, it seems to sit around in the corner on it's stand and beg me to caress it's strings from time to time.

      I am teaching my youngest son to play, he isn't quite as exuberant as I thought he might be, however I believe once you attract a child to an instrument you leave them with a deep impression and you never know when they may develop a passion for what you have shown them.

      Your hubs are always filled with GOLD a wealth of information to digest and your poetry need I say more other than BRILLIANT, PASSIONATE, ROMANTIC and leaving us longing for more. You are such a great ARTIST my friend in every sense of the word. You master it and thrive on teaching what you know of Life and Lady you know so much.

      I love every word you share with your friends here. The comments left are a labryinth of words. With all the comments you recieve on each masterpiece you create, you could write dozens of more hubs from them alone.

      I finally got around to your second chapter and have plans on picking up my pace, you are never forgotten by the Saddlerider, he just pokes along and finds his way to you, one of the finest writers here at the hubs. Hugs to you from me....

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Ah, Martie - thank you, m'dear! I love sumi-e style art and have done a bit of it, though none as lovely as these illustrations.

      I'm delighted that you've also noticed the way birds are attracted to music. Thank you for the lovely compliment, too! And in that regard - LOOK WHO TALKS!

      I'm about to get showered and cleaned up for my visitor. Everything is in order (of some sort) and anything left out will just have to be overlooked. I'm quite "done in" and ready to call it a "clean" and let it go at that. I'm getting a little indication that he may not stay here the entire week. He has friends closer to the hotel where the Seminar is to be. Driving across Dallas in high-traffic hours is not to be chosen if there is a better alternative and I am across town from that hotel. I'll enjoy visiting with him in any amount. He brings first-hand news of things at my ranch, for one thing.

      So here I go to shower & shampoo! Can hardly wait! I'm not tidy now! I'm wondering - who invented housecleaning, anyway?



    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent, thought-provoking hub, Nellieanna, with lovely pictures. A dove, living somewhere near, always comes to me when I play the recorder. An Indian Minor comes when I play the piano. I can list more. Birds love the sounds produced by musical instruments.

      Ps: Love your new avatar. You are beautiful!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      an - I should have known! We must be in sync, that's so!!

      My company arrives tomorrow night & I'm hardly any more ready than I was! But he's "like family", so it won't be the first time he's seen things short of perfect. Also he'll be in a seminar most of every day & will be studying for a major professional re-qualification exam at the end of it , lasting all day Saturday. So I can sneak in some dusting, etc. when he's not here. heh heh . . .

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Oh, my - Dallas - your compliment is just delicious! Thank you! Hugs!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nellie, I didn't need the link. That was the version I listened to. We must be singing from the same hymn sheet, my friend

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Your creativity is a medly of various inputs that create a multi-media symphony with their "built-in" rymthms...

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Ah, yes, Ian. (good pun, which I found when I wallowed in it for a few! :) And it's musical does indeed bring to mind so many gorgeous film scores which are so accessible to my mind on reminding. Now wouldn't it be pleasant if Audrey or Grace happened by!!

      My favorite rendition of "Ebb Tide" is and always has been the instrumental by its composer, Frank Chacksfield, which rendition even starts with the seagulls & the splashing sounds of waves on the shoreline. Then they fold into the music as it soars up and into those magnificent sounds of the music itself.

      I've loved playing the song on the piano since I first heard it and fell in love with it - and by it.

      The song's lyrics are lovely, too, but I've felt that the singing of them with the music distracts too much from the magnificence of the mood created instrumentally. But they fit the music to a T and arouse goose bumps too

      First the tide rushes in

      Plants a kiss on the shore

      Then rolls out to sea

      And the sea is very still once more

      So I rush to your side

      Like the oncoming tide

      With one burning thought

      Will your arms open wide

      At last we're face to face

      And as we kiss through an embrace

      I can tell, you are love

      Really mine in the rain

      In the dark, in the sun

      oh, like the tide at its ebb

      I'm at peace in the web of your arms

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Dear Dallas - Thank you!

      Loved that comment about the waltz beat. It is a lovely rhythm for dancing. I remember learning that box-step at Arthur Murray's when I was finally allowed to take dance lessons. Prior to that, I'd always danced to my own rhythms, by myself in the living room. My steps fit the beats but were not according to the known patterns.

      Yes, now that you mention it, I suppose that classics do share a common kind of basic timing, which allows each tempo to play with that beat in slightly different pace, speed, style or mood, with each variation superimposed on the basic pattern and described with specific terms such as lento - adagio - andante - allegro - vivace - presto, etc. as the overall timing moves from slow to fast and expresses a choice of moods and effects with set parameters and descriptive terms.

      But any sort of syncopation or innovation is rare in the classics and very subtle, if any. Surely the grand music known as classic has had to "measure up" to more rigid, 'set' standards, just as traditional ballet and poetry meters have been virtually closed to much in the ways of variation or obviousness, such categories for the allowable differences being pre-set and firmly expected and adhered to if a result is to be called ballet or poetry.

      Now, though, any confines are optional & less rigid as more variables are recognized & respected. But all forms are part of the character of the audible facets of our experience which give us pleasure and a bridge from & between the primitive & the civilized, I suppose. It's all exciting!

      My poor eyesight undoubtedly affords me acute sensitivity to sound and movement. There are pitches of some human speaking voices which are punishment to my ears and others which are music to them. If I'm awake, I can hear the smallest sound in this big ole two story house from almost anywhere in it. Then I have to follow its strength to find its source! I've even heard & been awakened by that very VERY light inner 'click' of an alarm clock just shortly before it lets out the loud arousing sound which is designed to wake me up.

      I can so imagine your darling mother playing her piano, guided by her Southern heart and roots!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      dianacharles. It's always such a joy to see you've dropped by. Yes it is easy to become so caught up in making a living that we miss many of the fine-tuned aspects of living it. One thing that always brings me close is, when out at the ranch where there is virtually no other noise pollution except the soft metallic sound of the windmill or distant animal sounds, the 'music of the canyons' is so perceptible.

      Here in the city that kind of nature's sound must be translated to closer listening for nature in its symphony: birds and breezes, rustling of leaves on trees, rain falling (OH - how we need to hear that here and now!). But sometimes even the man-made sounds like the drone of a distant train, even lawn mowers in the early morning hours can be lovely. One sound I once captured in a little poem about a special city sound:

      I love the swishing sound

      Of cars

      On rain-glistened streets

      And listening for

      Another song of ours.

      ______© Nellieanna H. Hay

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Alicia, thank you! I think my awareness of the rhythm stems from the difficulty I had from not really learning to count the beats, but relying on my own sense of the rhythm. In essence, I play the notes by reading every note but play the timing "by ear" and by glance at the music. The noteos look faster or slower on the page! haha! I can read the timing indicators enough to figure it out for unfamiliar pieces, but obviously if I know how a song is timed by being familiar with it, I can play the timing much more effectively.

      Amazing how much we learn about things beyond the immediate challenges and activities, isn't it? Hugs.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I am having a wallow. In 'Ebb Tide'. (I just realised, there was a heavy pub there, and it wasn't deliberate). It is so redolent of the film scores or so many movies of a great space of time. And how many people have covered it!

      I almost expected the divine Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly to wander into the room... Ha ha ha!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Waltz beat is great to dance to! Seems the clasics have one thing in common. Musically they are simple. The rythm flows...

      Flag up and awesome!

      My mother still plays her piano inspired by her Southern roots...

    • dianacharles profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Beautifully put Nellieanna. I suppose some of us are so busy rushing around and caught up in the humdrum of life, that we do not even hear the rhythms all around us.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a beautiful and thought-provoking hub. I play piano too, but your hub started me thinking about the rhythms in nature, the universe and life. Thank you!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Ian - I'm smiling. Piggly Wiggly was then one of the two available Anglo grocers in town. Piggly's still operate in small Texas towns, I believe.

      In San Felipe, the Mexican settlement within Del Rio city limits, there was a grocer, Figueroa's, which I loved to visit with my Dad when he went there to buy supplies for the ranch workers. It smelled divine in there and the oiled wooden floor was so - cushy! I'd wander around he shelves looking at everything while Dad was selecting the dried frijoles, salt pork slabs, corn masa, dried hot peppers, salt and other Mexican seasonings, flour, sugar, onions & garlic, etc - nothing fancy or perishable, but enough basics for Dominga to make her family's meals without any refrigeration, of course. At the ranch, there were milk cows & chickens available to her for milk and eggs, and sometimes there'd be a little plot growing onions & peppers which Mother tried to cultivate in spite of deer and rabbits invading it.

      The other Del Rio grocer on Main St. was H.E.B. (for its founder, H.E. Butts). It still thrives but has a more spacious location these days. And it is now the heart behind the most upscale, incredible gourmet food stores in the big Texas cities, which are called "Central Market", featuring every possible gourmet delicacy and delectable. Of course, all the imported beers and wines, fine candies, deli foods, fish and seafood, organic meats and veggies - everything "top drawer". Reminds me of the foods department in Harrod's of London when we visited there. My ex-daughter-in-law would rather eat dirt than anything NOT from Central Market unless she's dining at a posh restaurant, where no telling the food sources. (wink) I like it OK but there's not one all that close to my neighborhood so I don't frequent it. But in Del Rio, H.E.B. was our choice when George & I were spending time at the ranch and commuting to D.R. for our supplies. They featured a lot of the same stuff as Central Market, but not quite as lavishly presented or PRd.

      "Ebb Tide" is a lovely, magical song which lifts me with its feeling of the ocean. I still love it in spite of its very specific connection with the courtship which led to my first marriage. (blush) But its special sound and the time frame fit perfectly with what I was trying to zero in on for this hub.

      Yes, triplet beats are entrancing. I love waltz beat except that it is often so - predictable. But those beats to which you refer are NOT predictable. They are just magnetic, in fact.

      I am so pleased that you like this segment of the series, too. I just finally felt ok about Part 3, so just finished posting it. I must now add its link to this Part 2.


    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Mentalist - that is, for sure, soaring praise from you! Thank you! I'm thrilled that you came by. Hugs.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      I wish you could have heard me just now, laughing heartedly, and with several tears gathering in my eyes over your triumph, Dusty!

      So you were the one to get that piano! wow. :-))

      Then your inventory of other instruments which you also play!- wow.

      I'll bet those all-nighters are something to behold. Well, of course - drums do provide the beat, but it's clear that you've found an alternative way.

      You really have the RHYTHM.

      How amusing and amazing that you know and use the chords which you 'build by sound" namelessly. Those inquiring for their origin would have to track the same paths as you did to get that quality of chords!

      Ah, yes Paul McCartney and his team did pretty well "by sound". One of his renditions is on my follow-up Part 3 to this, in fact. A genius. As you say - (and as is exactly what I'm trying to express here) - is that those 4 guys truly tapped into each other's natures and rhythms and the rest is, as they say - history!

      Flamenco - AH. As a young teenager I read a novel - I don't even remember it's title but the heroine, Oriana, was a gypsy flamenco dancer, so of course, all her escapades revolved around it. I'd never seen that art performed, but how vividly I pictured it. I still mentally add "Malaqueña" to those mental dance scenes. Many years later, on a visit to San Antonio, walking along the stroll-side of the Riverwalk on a balmy summer evening, we came to the place where an open air stage across the water was featuring a live troupe of Flamenco dancers! We sat on the grass, enthralled with the verve and beauty of it all.

      What a guitar master this Igor is! It's more than wonderful. Those subtle slips of his into minor key and the visceral beat behind all the changes and trills - it's gorgeous. I'm bookmarking his place on U-tube. I'll be following up on other of his selections, but I liked this one mucho. As you say, he produced magical sound.

      I've always loved good guitar picking. - At college in my early years, an exchange student from Mexico often serenaded the girls' dorms. It was like classic Latin guitar. One of my favorite Latin pieces is the -

      Concierto de Aranjuez de Joaquín Rodrigo

      And my first love loved pickin'' and singin'. He died long ago but I have a tape of some of his renditions. You'd probably get a kick out of them. They're really old-timey cowboy songs. A tribute to him on my website:

      There is supposed to be a background of his narrating one of the song-stories, Zebra Dun on it. But it's flakey on my Mac, so not sure if it's still audible.

      Then my son agreed to take violin lessons just to get more into strings so he could play the guitar, which his father wouldn't allow him. Not sure if he ever did but I know that now his son plays it in his own band and it seems to be well done, judging by the enthusiasm, though all I've seen of it is 'still' pix on Facebook.

      Thanks for more of this fascinating side of you, Dusty! :-)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I loved this every bit as much as I loved the first part. I could almost see myself in Main Street and the Piggly Wiggly (What on earth is that?).

      It was a lovely hub, Nellie, absolutely lovely.

      I was caught up in the flow of it. My musical tastes are nothing like these mentioned here. although I have enjoyed the beetle and "Ebb Tide" brought back a memory for me that I thought was well forgotten.

      How right you are about rhythm and beat having so much influence, There are few rhythms that bring out emotion for me than a rhythm of beats in threes - triplets perhaps! (no I don't mean Waltz Time) but absolutely beats of threes, descending by a few semitones, that Verdi and Bellini uses so effectively. It wrenches the soul right out of my body and brings me to a higher plane so that I feel.... Wow!

      I'm getting emotional now, thinking of it. It always works for me.

      Or tone semitone-semitone, tone; repeated sonorously. Incredible!!!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      An interpretive masterpiece Nellieanna!;)

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Nellieanna, my guitars are my first love, but the irony of the piano was when my father died, no one wanted it, other than me so there was no argument and it sits here at my finger tips to play on at will. It is part of a collection of 9 guitars a mandolin and a banjo. Occasionally people that play come by for a BBQ and sometimes all night sessions of playing on all the instruments, I've considered a drum set but I have an electronic machine that I can dial up drums and get the beat that works but it can't add-lib so we often just slap guitar bodies. People want to know where I get chords and want a name for them so they can write them down and take them home, and I have to tell them I'm sure a name exists but most all my chords are "built by sound" and I don't know what they are. So they take a picture with their phone. Paul McCartney couldn't read music either and look at his accomplishments, it was a matter of all 4 knowing what each other was doing, and so it is here if a new guy shows up he has to puff his cigar and watch, if he's good he'll fall in on a repeat.

      I took 6 days of flamenco, and 6 days of classical lessons at U of Arizona just to speed up finger picking over much of my flat picking as it allows you room to let the guitar have the voice or vocals over some one actually singing. I have learned much from watching and listening from this guy who is out standing and employs a great camera angle in his work. Check him out, I think you'll enjoy him, I'll try and pick out what I consider a good one, peace dust

      not the one I wanted but still a fair representation, there are 175 to choose from one I wanted was where he had a capo on the 4,5,6 string mixing keys in one song that produced a magical sound.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Dusty! Thank you! - As I was reading your own experience with music, specfically with the frustration to making it on a piano of your youth, I could f-e-e-l and identify with so much of it and could easily appreciate what differs from my own piano experience.

      To me the saddest thing in the whole account is: "I refused to take lessons and was banned from touching it." That may not compare in every aspect, but "what if" Amadeus Mozart had been banned from touching a piano because he felt no need or desire to take formal lessons which would have burdened his own inner musical sources with tiresome stuff?

      He might have "had it" inside before it became obvious. He could have been a late bloomer or maybe just fooled around when alone as you did. If authoritative parents had insisted their way "or else", - well, the world of music might have lost one of its greatest treasures! And that "what-if" is NOT outside of possible outcomes!

      Every one with native musical sensibility, whatever the level, needs the chance to manifest it with freedom to express it from inside-out. Youngsters need it to be accepted and encouraged. If instead, the tender seeds of it are squelched, whether by an ultimatum to either give it up or endure endless dreary-levels with no hope of being allowed to explore his own kind of latent self-expression, too, at the same time as doing the "practice exercises" to train his dexterity & good mind-to-hand coordination, well - that leaves out the most vital "exercise" of his inner light. It has to be an assault on both individual potential and individual interest in mastering the instrument. Being offered only either/or is the ultimate assault.

      It's like taking away books because a kid isn't instantly absorbed with and enamored of them. Good intentions can even misfire. Parents want to give the kids good solid foundations with the basics, but all too often, it stifles the masterpieces that might have been built on it, only to end up with producing 'mechanical' players lacking the slightest real "sense of" the music and rhythm to make it appealing to oneself or listeners. - What IS the point in that, one wonders.

      Wow. I guess it may be more usual for the downers to the full and free blossoming of a young talent and interest to come in forms of either subtle mis-steering by various psychological means, probably mostly unintended or, as mIne was - may be included in an over-all failure to be not "counted in" as a person, while being genuinely loved, while conversely being expected to perform, with or without my permission or desire to do so, which was how it was in several areas other than playing the piano. At least I was never excluded from trying it on my own, but my confidence tenuous from being assaulted in those various ways, though I know it was intended to do just the opposite! That was due to a failure of what this hub series' point really is: finding each individual person and thing's essential nature, then allowing additions to FIT it, if the person is to discover his/her fullest development.

      I'm fairly sure most of us must finally find that for ourselves, as you went on to do with your musical sensitivity finding ways to express itself! But how much smoother it would be to find the nourishment for it at the beginning, even before it is fully apparent, as Mozart surely found his right away. It wouldn't have happened that way if he'd been denied the piano.

      Part of this Rhythm segment of this series I'd writte became too much and too ponderous to be included here within the theme, but it's the odyssey of the rest of my own musical experience and its similar challenges to yours. I'd intended it an illustration of one of the main principles of the hub-series, which is the empowering of & overcoming blocks & barriers to actually finding and FEELING the rhythm, teamed and tempered with one's own true nature so it can be expressed as only oneself can. It can be in genuinely "making music" rather than just sound, or in any other outpouring.

      That's has always been my greatest quest and hope, no matter the blocks. But they were powerfully real enough to help subdue it into the shadows for too long, until it just couldn't be denied!

      When it happens, one knows it and that is when one honestly feels that "I've made music", as you surely feel when your guitar helps to translate your own musical "wellspring" into an audible flow on the piano, where you'd been banned early on.

      That doesn't have to rely on applause or "brownie points" on a chart. It IS of itself and is infinitely worth all the rest when it happens. If it extends beyond, it's on its own authenticity.

      So what I heard in your story is a familiar one, as you've also "worked around" downers to find and express what is within yourself in the best way for YOU to make your own music! I love that, Dusty!!!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Nellieanna, an interesting continuation, or addition following title, I find much I know here, and much I know but never dwindled at the subject long enough to really know. I grew up with a piano standing up right in the front room, I refused to take lessons and was banned from touching it. All the siblings took lessons, my fathers wife could play mechanically but I failed to see any entertainment value in hearing it. There were plenty of hours it was left sans a guard that I was able to play with learning by reading about it's parts and functions, then chords, and later breaking it down into familiar tunes of current day, that were simple but satisfying to me, especially starting above the simplest level it seemed the others were forced to do, along with recitals that a beating would be better in my young mind. It transferred to the guitar well and after still note reading music to this day, if I can get it figured by ear and run it down the neck of one of many guitars, I then can pull out the bench and play it on the piano after hunting the key. It sorta ties back to your "hearing ability" you wrote on. I have the ability to hear it and now with 5 decades, generally strike a semblance of playing what I heard. I remember going to the Hollywood Bowl and listening to the orchestra and learning to hear a particular instrument and pick it out hearing it above the rest noting it's significance to the whole of the performance, a mental game I suppose. I enjoyed this, thank you, dust


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