Charting Cartographies, Tracking Sounds

Dionne Brand
In Another Place, Not Here
Knopf, 1996, page 117

I first noted this passage for my friend Marlene Goldman who was exploring women and mapping and working on what became Paths of desire: Images of exploration and mapping in Canadian women's writing.

Today the sound of bees and cicadas singing tautly tightened the air, as if they were drawing a map of the place, as if they were the only ones left to do it. Their singing thick as electric wires, cicadas, bees singing thick, suspended the island, mapping the few hills, the dried rivers of the dry season, the white river stones, the soft memory of the people who lived here, the desire of rain when it came to wash rickety houses away, or the desire of sun to parch old people's lips, children's throats, the hot need of hillsides to incline so desperately, to inspire weakness in the knees, the cold-blooded heat of noons melting people into houses and under beds. Cicadas, bees, busy with their cartography, their sound like tender glass above, holding these few things, waiting to set them down again, the simple geography of dirt and water, intact, the way only they knew it, holding the name of the place in their voices, screaming so that the war would pass, interminably pass.
Reading it years later, I am intrigued about the combination: I have never heard bees and cicadas together. My map is limited but in my imagination thanks to Brand's prose I can go where are the cicadas and the bees. Did find audio files for sale (at Audio Jungle) of stereo recording of bees buzzing and cicadas chirping recorded by tommiwilson — sounds I would never have thought to seek out before now live in my mind side by side or rather in a layered symphony.

And so for day 1503