I used to be the sun

This mound was once a valley filled with
bird song, footfall, the persistent
running cascade of the river weir.

I used to be the sun.

Changes will continue, but I will never give in
to the woman you’ve assumed me to be.
Enter owl, exit rabbit.

This combistory is slightly different from previous ones in that the first line comes from me—or should I say it landed on me this morning as I walked alongside the mound of earth that used to be part of our property before CN cut it off the bank and hauled it a mile downriver, where it heaped it like trash. In fact, what was the Cedarvale townsite a hundred years ago now appears to be CN’s garbage dump.

But that’s a story for another day.

This week I was so inspired by Nicky Oram’s String and Shadows, a 3D representation of sounds heard in woodland. Her concept seized my imagination—I’ve been trying for months to capture the sounds I hear on my morning walks. I record them, but when I listen to the recordings, the gentle sounds of birdsong and running water are almost always drowned out by the constant thrum of rubber on asphalt echoing across the river from the highway. Now Nicky has me thinking in new directions.

String and Shadows, by earlybird_art on Intagram

To create the piece, Nicky “drew” sound using knots, attachments, threads and intervals made from found and recycled materials: string, thread, torn fabric remnants, and strips of plastic bag. The shadows her construction casts on the wall are an integral part of the piece.

The authors of the other three lines in this week’s combistory are:

Elizabeth Bunsen, I Used To Be the Sun

Elephant Revival, Petals

joshtheobscure on Reddit

That I never knew about Elephant Revival until yesterday is a tragedy, but I intend to make up for it by listening to them every day until the end of time. Join me?

12 Responses to “I used to be the sun”

  1. Cathy

    Thanks for your writing, Leslie. I hadn’t heard Elephant Revival before but love their words- “seasons changing; I can smell it on the wind.”

    • Leslie

      Thanks for reading, Cathy! You can definitely smell spring on the wind, can’t you?

  2. Laurie Doctor

    I have so much to thank you for. The beauty and kindness of your gift deserves a hand written offering…just know, for now, that I am deeply moved by you and your work. Reading this today I am smacked awake by the synchronicity. I just last night spontaneously gave my students the prompt to listen to the changing sounds in their landscape — between winter and spring, the sound of a beech tree… to make a note or a mark each day, of a sound made visible. And then I read your post! Next I will listen to String and Shadows, and Elephant Revival…but I was propelled to write to you.
    These writing experiments you are doing, combistory, just brilliant. I want to sit down and experiment with all your ideas. This is feeding my soul and firing my imagination! With gratitude, Laurie

    • Leslie

      This beautiful message, Laurie – thank you. I’m so grateful for your presence in my life. Your writing and art feed my soul and fire my imagination. Namaste.

  3. Carrie Birde

    You’ve written this lovely piece with such conviction, I FEEL it… To think, if you hadn’t visited my page, I may not have found you! Double blessings 🙂 And, finally, since you admire Elephant Revival, you might really enjoy Darlingside 🙂

    • Leslie

      I do! Thank you for pointing me in their direction! And for visiting my blog. 🙂

  4. Diane

    Each time I read one of your unique combistory creations, I’m enthralled.
    And, I am appalled at CN. Just had to say.

    Thank you for introducing me to Elephant Revival. They need more recognition simply from listening to these two.

    Joy always, Diane

    • Leslie

      Thanks, Diane! Glad you enjoy Elephant Revival. Don’t get me started on CN!!!


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