APRIL, 2017

FRIENDS—
Can you learn to love the slimy FROG prince perched upon your pillow? Can you see the beauty in the dark, swamp where THE HANDSOME FAMILY slither? Read on and ponder....



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FROGS call out to each other through the humid air above a stagnant pond. They sing to let potential mates know their location and to let other males know they are ready to defend their territory. With each call there is a responding chorus of competing males. Most females are listeners. When they hear a pleasing voice among the din of croaks they seek out the male behind the melody. FROGS really do fall in love by listening to love songs!
There’s great competition to be heard among the men of these FROG choruses. Only the most gifted singers will find a space in which to solo among the hundreds of voices striving to be heard. FROGS develop a rhythm of call and response in this musical battle. Males that find themselves drowned out will change the frequency and tone of their call  in order to be heard above their brothers.
The FROG Prince’s voice was repellent to the princess he sang to. She had dropped her golden ball into the FROG Prince’s muddy pool and needed his help to retrieve it. Sticking your arm into muddy water is not an option for a princess.
The slimy prince offers to retrieve the girl’s ball if she will promise to let him sleep by her side. She is utterly revolted by the little creature but agrees to his demands. Once her shining orb is back in her arms, though, the princess forgets her promise and runs away.
Late that night the FROG Prince comes hopping and dripping into the castle. He splatters his way up to her silken pillow. For three nights the princess endures the awful creature’s presence at her side, but finally she grabs the slimy FROG and throws its foul body at the wall. In that great ‘splat’ the FROG Prince transforms into a human prince of great beauty— or so the fairy tale insists. The princess falls in love.
I wonder though—could it be that it is the princess who changes as she throws the FROG at her velvet wallpaper? If the princess pulled her eyes away from her gorgeous prince and glanced into the mirror would she see a handsome couple reflected or two slimy FROGS?
There they go, the FROG lovers— hopping through the wet dirt back to the slimy waters of their kingdom.
Each night this magic spell is cast as virgin princesses hear their princes cry out across the swamp. In the darkness of the pond all is filthy, moist and full of love.
Tonight, royal friends, leave the windows of your castle open, the great doors ajar. Let the wind and rain come rushing past in torrents. Wet leaves will litter your bed and every creeping, crawling, slithering thing will come to claim you in the name of the prince of mud.
Lie down in this empire of muck. Let the dark water be the mirror of your throne.
Excerpt from “Wilderness,” essays by Rennie Sparks written as a companion to the album “Wilderness.” 






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