one small, resonant spot
on the featureless surface of this drumhead:
a pregnant place beneath which lie vast, empty spaces.
if you ever have the good fortune or the skill to hit upon it
a pure, golden sound will ring out,
and that sound
will be the truth.
but there are no signs telling you where to find it,
and directions are pointless
because on the wide, undifferentiated expanse of this drumhead
evertything looks exactly the same.
you will have to divine the spot for yourself
trusting to luck? memory? intuition?
you will have to feel where it is
like a violist's fingers locate the perfect invisible C
on the neck of the violin.
keep beating away all their lives
and only produce dry, meaningless thuds:
for there is no way to progress towards the goal,
no gradual improvement by trial or error
because both error and success are total,
so that if you barely miss, or are a long way off,
the result is always inscrutably the same.
but there are (so I've heard) a very few virtuosos
who know just where to find this hollow place:
and whenever they strike they are infallible.
the enchanted clang resounds approvingly
as they hit the mark every time.
the rest of us, well, we just dance to their rhythms.