The rock and the ripple.

September 21, 2019 § 1 Comment

Xfinity’s ad is running over an instrumental version of Here Comes the Sun. So many who see the ad are too young to have experienced the cultural tsunami known as the Beatles.

Still, the tune will insinuate itself into their heads.

Context gone, the melody (that beautiful melody) persists.

The things we create get braided into our collective sense of what-is. They become the commons we all take for granted, the corners of the picture frame that encloses life.

The process begins with an event: George Harrison writes Here Comes the Sun. The record comes out (that is the rock dropped into our collective awareness), and teens all over the world go wild!

Those teens grow up, grow old, but they carry the melody with them. It would gradually die out as they die out, but one day it is re-purposed. And the ripples spread…

After a while the rock and the ripple lose their association. For those who were not alive when the rock was tossed all there is is the ripple, which has taken on a life of its own.

Creativity comes in many forms: music, literature, science, fashion, art, language, politics. Our collective commons are always changing. The Beatles, Einstein, Hitler, Jesus Christ–each dropped a boulder from which the ripples are still spreading.

Most of us have little more than a pebble to toss, but however small or large, each of us creates ripples. And who can say, which will travel far, nudging generations to come?

Stripped of lyrics and those four mop-top lads, that melody (yes, that beautiful melody) takes root in a million young minds.

And the beat goes on.

Note: I became aware of popular music about the time The Beatles began the British Invasion. The first time I heard them sing, “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” I never thought for a minute that it wasn’t theirs, that they were riding the ripple of an earlier wave of great music: Motown. When I heard Smokey Robinson sing it I was sure he’d stolen it from the Beatles.

Every creator rides the ripples made by those who have gone before.

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