The road ends, but the journey continues...

The Dance of the Didgeridoo

Traditional Eucalyptus Didgeridoo (Ilario Vannucchi)

From: Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott*

Quote symbolThe voice of the didgeridoo was a call from far away, from centuries back.  If you pressed your ear to the ground, Mattie thought, this was the tone the earth would make.  The music resonated like an ancient god, or what desert winds must have sounded like to the first ears on earth.  She closed her eyes again.  She felt doomed, and lumpy, fat and old.  She tried to recall the women from church, their triumphant wideness, centered and vigorous, and this helped.  Ella clung to her like a baby Koala.  Mattie nuzzled her, snorfled her neck.  The didgeridoo sounded like an enormous animal panting at the end of its life.  Mattie looked up and found Daniel standing before her, lifting her daughter into his arms.  He held her in front of his chest, his long hands knitted together effortlessly to make a seat in which round, rosy Ella perched, somewhat worried but curious.
‘Want to dance?’ he asked her. ‘I’m probably the only person you know who can dance to the didgeridoo.’  dancer dadElla thought this over, tugging on her chin like an alchemist.
Mattie opened her fingers slowly to she could peek in at the little rubber shoe, as if examining a poker hand.  Harry and Al were talking, and Daniel still held Ella in his arms, turning in slow circles.  Mattie watched, listened, breathed in deep and slow: if the sound of the didgeridoo was a color, it would be rich and earthy, plant purple, like eggplant with light behind it.

*really didn’t like the book, but this quote was worth the read.


  1. laura bruno lilly

    Oops! Here’s the link:

  2. Bob Cloud

    OK you’re going to laugh at this but I can’t get the “quote” from Blue Shoe about the didgeridoo out of my head. Then your reply to my comment about the quote saying that my dance with that sound was perhaps choreographed by solo flight really got me thinking. I’m considering writing a post about the quote, flying etc. do you mind if I mention your blog by name? I’ll send it to you to proof first. If no I’ll understand.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Why Mr. Bob Cloud, I’d be honored to have my blog mentioned by name on a post written by yourself, you can even hot link it if you wish. In fact, I’m tickled pink (not laughing at all) that that old didgeridoo has conjured up the writing juices within you…
      And, no need for me to proof it, just please let me know when you publish it on your blog. I can’t wait to read it!

      • Bob Cloud

        That’s a roger tower, understand request is approved. Be advised it may take awhile. Cloud out.
        (now if only I can get spell check working again)

      • Bob Cloud

        My thoughts on the sound of the didgeridoo are now posted on my blog as “Earths Music”. Your comments and critique are invited.

        • laura bruno lilly

          Bob, what a gorgeous piece of writing. I am placing the link here as the link to your site via clicking on your name on a comment is not being directed to your site…you might want to check on this.


  3. Poetsmith

    Yes, I have Laura. These are some of them:
    Let’s Go Alfresco
    Drama In The Gardens!
    The Houseboat
    To Flea Or Not To Flea
    Postcard from Kosciuszko
    Morning Has Broken
    The Jacaranda
    At Tesselaar’s Dandenongs
    Autumn Afternoon
    An Autumn Day
    Forest Reserve
    Flamenco Dancers
    Quaint Cafe Bakery
    Snow-capped Mountains
    The Avenue
    A Country Road
    A Country Town
    Another Season
    I’ve had some wonderful experiences and fond memories of Australia.
    Have a lovely week.
    Kind regards.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I recognize some of these! I’ll hop over to your site and check up on some of the others later in the week.
      Take care and keep writing.

  4. Poetsmith

    Loved your audio. … the sound of the aboriginal didgeridoo (haunting sound).
    Reminds me too of my days in Australia! Interesting article, Laura.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank-you for commenting, Iris.
      Have you written any poems concerning your Australian experiences?

  5. Anna Scott Graham

    A beautiful quote; I too love Lamott’s writing books, and Traveling Mercies is great too. This quote is lovely, especially that last sentence.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I have to admit that I was drawn to this passage in large part by its fluid, organic references to music as color.
      I’ll have to check out Lamott’s Traveling Mercies.

  6. Bob Cloud

    There is something primal about the sound of the didgeridoo and hearing one being played has always captured my attention no matter what I was doing, anytime I heard it. The quote from “Blue Shoe” above triggered an “Aha moment” within me.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I am honored that my posted quote triggered an ‘Aha moment’ within you.
      Perhaps your personal dance of the didgeridoo is choreographed by solo flight-paths, past & present?

  7. Deborah Brasket

    I love the sound of the didgeridoo, and agree that it sounds like ancient earth. When listening to it, it takes you there, back before time began.
    I have Blue Shoe on my shelf but haven’t read it yet. Why didn’t you like it? I was hoping it would be a good read. Love her books on writing.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Welcome, Deborah!
      I read Blue Shoe some time ago and don’t remember specifics as to why I didn’t enjoy it. Obviously, I found certain parts of it interesting enough to hand copy for quotes…I think it had to do with the pace of the story-a bit draggy, with a disjointed plot.
      However I, too, love Anne Lamont’s books on writing.

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