There resounds a proverbial question, If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound as it falls? Capricious as this query may appear I have had occasion to entertain just such a notion when, as a youth, I found an exploratory journey down a deep woods path abruptly halted by the greeting of an enormous fallen tree. The colossal obstacle lay across my path and presented itself a motionless, silent guardian that protected that which lay beyond from my further intrusion. What a monumental disturbance must have been witnessed by the forest as this giant came crashing down! I wondered how the tree came to be there in the first place or what of the countless forms of life that had sprang forth from its protective purview over the decades of the trees history. I wondered what might have led to the demise of the strong anchoring system that had so obviously sustained the uprightness of this tower for so long. Not to mention what a scurry for life itself must have taken place by the multitude of creatures that were no doubt within the danger zone as tons of falling wood rushed earthward. Notwithstanding the magnitude of this event and the obvious lasting effects that resulted, I still wondered if the falling tree had made a sound? When the life of Ludwig van Beethoven first encroached upon my path, much the same sensation was experienced. No doubt I had heard of the composers name, but then so had I foreknowledge of trees, both fallen as well as standing ones. However, what of this particular composer. Had I ever entertained conversation with him? Had I known of his particular work, achievements, or failures? What difference had been made by this long extinguished life, at least where I was concerned? So here I stood. Yet another fallen giant before me in an apparently posture of complete silence leaving me to contemplate what, if any, true sound had been made as it fell….
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