Portraits of Gifted: Rooster’s Face

I have woken up to the music of many memories. They form eddies of candid storytelling and stir chaos into harmony. The rational adult within me knows that music for a girl with multiple learning disabilities, extensive speech delays, and a gifted mind, most likely played the therapeutic role of relieving anxiety and calming the soul. Regardless of the means, the end is a connection I have with music which surpasses the emotional, spiritual, and literal, into the realm of necessary, assimilated, and all-encompassing.

Few things animate my memories as do the songs which accompany them. Music has the singular ability to fill my soul, determine my path, and illuminate my decisions. My religion had a melody and my education had a tempo. Every story I tell is a song in my playlist.

So it’s curious that the most memorable of these songs comes from a hand-me-down experience; and I, as the second-hand storyteller, can only close my eyes and draw from imagined sounds. I can only hear fabricated metal upon metal and the story I could tell will only ever be someone else’s. It would be a simple story filled with repetitive chorus meant for children. This story, this song, has a music which awakens me in the morning and is the foundation for all other songs in my life.

Szól a kakas már. The rooster is crowing already.

I am only five when I first hear the stories of the cattle cars filled with people. I don’t understand how people can fit in a car with cattle, but I imagine it would be quite smelly and scary. I know that my father and my grandparents are lucky to be alive because that is what I am told. But I can’t imagine how a cattle car could be so stinky that so many in the family, that so many of their friends and neighbors, went to heaven before they reached their final destination. Maybe they got off at the wrong stop; after all, no one ever talks about where they were going and why take a train ride if you have nowhere to go?

Well before dawn, Szól a kakas már -a Hungarian folksong for children- was engraved in my memory; and while I couldn’t understand it at five, it wasn’t long before I came to realize why the rooster was crowing. Long before I had experienced for myself any real loss, I had a deep understanding of the sorrow which is a song being silenced. I felt the pain in parents’ voices as they sang out in the night and received nothing more than their breath before them. I experienced the elation, an almost inconceivable moment of sheer joy, a person would feel when from another place the chorus would ring back in answer. I could imagine, long before I had enough of my own songs to sing, a generation of people singing out if only for a moment as if to say that death is upon us but they will not quiet our souls.

Everything I hear is a music built upon this one memory. One memory that is truly not my own and could be told much better by millions of others if their song had not been silenced.

Today’s portrait of gifted is the Rooster. The rooster represents the gift of possibility that music brings into our lives every morning. He represents the promise of a day and the opportunities within that day to do more than we might have thought possible when we first heard his song.  A gifted child, and especially a gifted child with special  needs, will cling to music with a desperation which can illicit beautiful and amazing results.  Music tells their story, paints their memory, and reaches into the night to find others who hear their song.

There are a thousand melodies I could mention, a tune for every emotion and every real story I’ve shared with you; but the one which stands out, the one which takes me back to being a child, is a song I can only close my eyes to hear.

Szól a kakas már is a Hungarian folksong which was sung by Hungarian Jews both in the concentration camps and on the trains.  It was a way of seeking out other Hungarian captives and also a small way of preserving their heritage during an unthinkable time of loss.  I have heard many versions, but this is by far my favorite. Take a moment to close your eyes and listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5PZHFa9YUo

Szól a kakas már
Majd megvirrad már
Zöld erdőben, sík mezőben
sétál egy madár.
Zöld erdőben, sík mezőben
sétál egy madár.
Micsoda madár?
Micsoda madár?!
Sárga lába, kék a szárnya
Engem odavár.
Sárga lába, kék a szárnya
Engem odavár.
Várj, madár, várj
Te csak mindig várj
Ha az Isten néked rendelt
Tiéd leszek már.
Ha az Isten néked rendelt
Tiéd leszek már.
Mikor lesz az már?
Mikor lesz az már?!
Jibbone hamikdos ir Cijon tömale
Akkor lesz az már.
Jibbone hamikdos ir Cijon tömale
Akkor lesz az már.

Translation:
The rooster’s calling already
It will be dawn soon
In a green forest, on the flat fields
A bird is walking.
In a green forest, on the flat fields
A bird is walking.
What kind of bird?
What kind of bird?!
Legs are yellow, wings are blue
It awaits me.
Legs are yellow, wings are blue
It awaits me.
Wait, bird, wait
You must always wait
If God ordered me for you
Then I’ll be yours.
If God ordered me for you
Then I’ll be yours.
When shall it be?
When shall it be?!
“Jibbone hamikdos ir Cijon tömale”
Then it shall be.
“Jibbone hamikdos ir Cijon tömale”
Then it shall be.

Taken from http://lyricstranslate.com/en/sz%C3%B3l-kakas-m%C3%A1r-rooster-calls.html#ixzz3CjMqxsk5

Taken from http://lyricstranslate.com/en/sz%C3%B3l-kakas-m%C3%A1r-rooster-calls.html#ixzz3CjMJMzSC

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