our ~11-month-old son got his first musical instruments today: a marching drum and a little wooden xylophone. at first he just wanted to bang things with the sticks and mallets, which was a joy in itself. seeing him control his environment, even in that small way, is pure pleasure for a parent.
then he and i got into some mallet/stick trading game - he would play with one of each, then i'd trade him a stick for a mallet, and we went back and forth that way for a while. agi was reading her book ('ancient bodies, modern lives') and beaming at us every once in a while, as was her father, feliks's grandfather, who is a painter/sculptor when not working as a thin films engineer, and who obviously wants the kid to turn out a foolish artist. (am i projecting?)
then feliks started drumming on the drum.
i think that's the widest smile i've smiled in a long time. absolute bliss. he was more adroit with his left hand than with his right, surprisingly(?) - tapping in natural rhythm atop the drumskin, hitting just off-center, then sweeping the stick around to rattle on the rim.
i know it's not 'music' to him; on the other hand i'm not sure my own music is 'music' in any essential sense. it's feeling, aurally encoded; echoes of some innerworld, or sense-mapping of a possible world yet to fall into mere physicality.
each day of parenthood is another invitation to tumble laughing into the family-body, the triple-helix that is our own memory-making being. feliks can't know how happy he makes me, not yet; because 'happy' isn't for him a separate category. it's just one way of being. he needn't 'think' about it. but surely he feels it - surely he feels deeply those moments of joyful becoming. feeling deeper than thought.
i don't know what i know, but what i feel is that growing with my son and my wife, being welcomed into the greater body (welcoming all of us each in turn; dissolving), is the truest feeling i know, the most fulfilled. not 'best'; that language is inadequate.
i think: i hope he loves music. i wonder whether he'll love making music as i do, will hear and see it all day. i remember the look in my then-future-wife's eyes as a beloved song rumbled out across a dancefloor (my god it was) nearly a decade ago; she was the music, momentarily. her body a melody line. i hardly knew her then. she was then for me a lovely idea, arm's length: 'Woman' or something. now we have a chance to be one body. it is bliss. we are bliss.