odyssey
Thus Played Zarathustra
by Kimmy Alan

A Child of Rock & Roll
A farm boy from the Wisconsin cold
I didn’t like classical music at all
Till I found myself in Movie Theater
Thinking I was about to see
Another Sci-Fi feature
But there were no
Monsters or Aliens
Instead a troupe of Apes
Screaming and chattering
Till the breaking of the dawn
When one of the creatures
Discovered a bone
Could be used for a tool
Or a weapon of war
When he began breaking bones
The Vienna Philharmonic began
Playing the theme song
I felt my hair stand up on end
Goosebumps rose on my skin
This was more than a Sci-Fi fantasy
This was 2001: A Space Odyssey
From that day I believe science
Does not contradict evolution
For Humanity has, and will continue
To evolve both physically and spiritually
And when I look up into the starry night
I hear “Zarathustra” playback in my mind
I am overwhelmed by the mystery
Of what we do not yet know
And in my wonder, I find spiritual ecstasy

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I was a farm boy. I seldom saw friends unless we were doing field work together. The exception was Saturday night, when we’d meet at the Old Gem Theater in New Richmond, Wisconsin. At that time, my view of the world was limited — till the night I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey. Since, I’ve come to realize that there are no limits to my life or soul. “Zarathustra” was more than an inspiration; it is a spiritual hymn.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kimmy Alan is neither an academic nor a poet. He’s a blue-collar worker of a steelworker hue. He’s never accomplished anything great nor has he done anything noteworthy. What he has done for years is work hard. Now, in his old age, he works hard for those other women and men who work even harder than he — encouraging them to organize and stand up for their rights. For though they are a humble lot, their skills and labor are essential to the survival of this world. Proud of being a part of an army that carried lunchboxes instead of briefcases, Kimmy is happy and content in his inconspicuousness.

ABOUT THE MUSIC: Here’s a link to scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) that lead into the opening of “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss (1896).