This lovely piece of music (see the YouTube window, below) is what came to mind upon a discovery I made this past Saturday morning. “Funeral March of a Marionette” is known as the theme to the old “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” television series. I am going through the process now of cleaning out my family home, a 200 year old farm house. My mother was an antique dealer, so you never know what you might come across. We have looked in just about every closet and cupboard by now, except for one small cabinet at the top of the stairs. I was alone, the overhead light started flickering as I walked up the creaking steps, and I felt the banister wobbling. “That’ll need fixing” I thought. I hadn’t noticed the cobwebs between the railings until then, blowing like a fine white gauze from a gentle breeze. Where the air was coming from, I had no idea. The light flickering still, I reached the top of the steps in what felt like slow motion. I opened the small cabinet door, and pulled out a dusty old crumbling box. I set it on the floor. The flickering light bulb grew more dim and was threatening to go out. I strained my eyes to see what was in the box. There before me were body parts: sets of chubby arms and legs, a torso, a head and many pairs of eyeballs staring up at me. A gruesome yet very cool find indeed, like a creepy Joseph Cornell box. Hmmm…where’s the glue?
Is the whole greater than the sum of it’s parts? And what does that mean anyway?
“Funeral March of a Marionette” written by Charles Gounod.