Monday, September 24, 2012

The Phantom Tollbooth: What Sounds Sustain You?

I've just finished reading The Phantom Tollbooth, because it's one of Eric's favorite books, from when he first read it as a little boy. He says he likes the way the main character, Milo, who is a rather bored and morose fellow, gets swept up into an adventure full of wordplay and nonsensical fun. My favorite part was when the Soundkeeper gives Milo some sounds to sustain him on his journey. 

"Now, remember: they're not for eating, but for listening, because you'll often be hungry for sounds as well as food. Here are street noises at night, train whistles from a long way off, dry leaves burning, busy department stores, crunching toast, creaking bed springs, and of course, all kinds of laughter. There's a little of each, and in far off, lonely places, I think you will be glad to have them."  

It made me think about which sounds I'd want to carry with me on a long, arduous journey. I'd want the sound of a champagne corks popping, and fizzing bubbles as they hit the glass, and the sonorous "ping" of a really good glass clinking with another after a toast. I'd like to have juicy crunch of the first bite of a particularly crisp fall apple, the gentle tumble of waves rolling into shore, one after another, after another, the sound of high heels walking briskly along a polished wooden floor, the cheerful jangle of keys and the clicking of a dogs nails on sidewalk pavement. 

What songs would you bring along? 

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