"If I love this beautiful voice ... it is neither for its fullness nor its sadness, rather because it is the event for which so many notes have been preparing, from so far away, dying that it might be born." - Jean-Paul Sartre
I think a lot about death.
I think - and this theory is yet to be tested - that when we die, we are released into unfathomable freedom; we will have the freedom to choose to exist as a new form of energy ... any form that we desire, at the moment we desire it.
One thing I have become rather obsessed with is the idea of - after "death" - choosing to experience myself as a particle of air.
During my musings, I decided to take the joyous opportunity to sit down and talk to one such particle.
HH: Hi, particle. Could you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Particle: Well, I decided to take the form of a body called Jimi Hendrix, back in '43.
HH: That's amazing, can I refer to you as Jimi for my purposes here?
Jimi: Yea, I can dig that, sure.
HH: OK. So, Jimi - as a particle of air, there's a lot that you can teach me. I'm here to learn, so please, if you have any wisdom to impart, go ahead.
Jimi: Yea, I'm hip to that trip, Holly. Let me tell you, I myself started to pay attention to particles because I was a musician, ya know?
HH: Yea, I think I've heard of you. Please go on.
Jimi: Well, like I said, as a musician, I became rather in tune, so to speak, with the particles surrounding me. I kind of took it upon myself to impart their message ... kind of an air translator, ya dig?
... My existence as Jimi entirely depended upon all those air particles. I was translating their message, but yet I depended on them to impart my own message, you know what I'm sayin'? ... It's actually a beautiful thing if you really think about it, man.
HH: Yea, I feel ya. I've done some research - and maybe you can corroborate the info for me - and found out that, according to http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html, "The sound speed in air is determined by the air itself. It is not dependent upon the sound amplitude, frequency or wavelength." That fact is really amazing to me, because it makes you realize that the air itself is in control of the sound.
Jimi: Yea, right on, Holly. That's correct; it allows you to realize what a great partnership you can build with the air. When I wrote that tune that says, "let me stand next to your fire," I experimented a little bit with the sound. I played it in 35 degree weather, and the sound moved at about 745 miles per hour. Then I played it actually standing next to a fire - about 100 degrees - and the sound moved at a staggering 794 miles per hour. It was a pretty groovy little experiment.
HH: That's amazing, Jimi. Now let's get to exactly why you are a particle of air now.
Jimi: OK, yea. Well, when I changed energy forms I automatically decided to be a particle of air. Like Sartre said, I prepared from far away ... dying that I might be born. It was my way of keepin' the music goin', man.
As a particle, I carry the sounds of all those other musicians that are keepin it goin' today. I existed for music when I was in the body, and now, I still exist for music. In fact, my girl Janis joined me a few months after I became a particle. It's a pretty groovy community; a lot of us are still hangin' out, carryin' those sounds. I bumped into Otis Redding the other day, Jerry Garcia is just everywhere, man, we're all floatin' around, wherever the music goes.
HH: Well, Jimi, it's truly amazing to hear your story, and it gives me a lot of inspiration as an aspiring particle. I really appreciate your time ... Do you care to travel through my lungs just once before you go?
Jimi: Oh sure, Holly, I can dig it.
HH: (Inhale ... Exhale.) Wow, that was perhaps the sweetest breath of air I have ever taken.
- Holly Haworth is the entertainment editor of The Daily Beacon, junior in rhetoric and writing and an aspiring air particle. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Legend continues to inspire after posthumous transition
Published: Fri Jan 30, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:45 p.m.