Thursday, May 28, 2009

whispering in the dark

The Journey (On The River)

We packed our backpacks with apples and juice and water and crackers and sandwiches and some chocolate chip cookies from the cupboard, even though the cookies were special and we knew we weren't really supposed to take any, but this was an adventure and chocolate chip cookies are essential for river adventures. We were going to see where the river began and the forest ended and where the railroad tracks were born, somewhere deep in the unexplored world that didn't appear on maps.

We had tried paddling to the factory before, and you had climbed to the roof and called out to the forest Halloo! Halloo! and your brother had found a nest of brilliant green lizards napping in the sunlight, and we had climbed the railway bridge and eaten our sandwiches and do you remember your brother trying to jump from the bridge into the river, just because he could, and we had to each take his arms and beg him not to, so instead we found a tree and jumped from the branches into the river, and came home soaking wet and after dinnertime and had promised not to tell -- even though I know you told, that evening, in an excited whisper to your mother.

why read when there are Ginger Rogers / Fred Astaire / Gershwin movies to be seen? the inspiration of tap dancing on roller skates in Central Park

not quite amenable to tap dancing on roller skates in Central Park

Thursday, May 21, 2009

and then

The earth rotates, the shift perhaps imperceptibly felt from this spot on the ground, as the alignment of the uppermost branches of the trees for a moment doesn't tally with what the eyes expect to see. Then everything matches again, the planet spinning effortlessly along its track as the ants work their way across the tendons of the left foot, searching for food or a new nesting site.

The ground is comfortable, or it would be if it weren't for the awkwardly placed pebbles and the suspicion that natural may also harbor the detritus of human existence, bottle caps, cigarette butts, but with the blinding pain in the left temple and a sense of misalignment associated with the right elbow, the undesired paraphernalia is immediately preferable to trying to locate a cleaner spot of dirt.

reading on the plane, "Three Cups of Tea"

weather well-earned

Thursday, May 14, 2009

betwixt & between

The windshield wipers swishing back and forth, attempting to hold back the sheer force of the rain through effort alone. Visibility minimized to perhaps five feet of space, headlights reflecting the downpour without illuminating anything of the road ahead.

The clock on the dashboard echoed back across the display 8.21 imperceptibly becoming 8.22 until suddenly it was 9.38 and it was impossible to remember whether the hour had all been lost negotiating a path between the raindrops or if it had been whisked away unexpectedly by some sort of time-stealing highway fairy or if sleep had descended in a flash of lightening and autopilot steered the car through the storm, another four miles or forty miles onward into the distance.

reading the town's master plan, which, alas!, clearly states a preference for development over historic preservation. O! Woe!

weather the deep purple explosion of iris in bloom

Thursday, May 7, 2009

character notes

What was the question? I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention: the light was shifting against the branches of the trees, illuminating everything in an inarguable golden yellow, and if I had paid attention to the question I would have missed this five minutes of glory when everything is transformed into Technicolor and the world switches into high definition surround sound with every tree, cloud, house, cat, car, bird outlined in its truest form, so I actually have no idea why you are looking so quizzical, so expectant.

Had I enquired about the health of your grandmother, forgetting that she died in China in the 1960s, confusing her with some other grandmother who gardens in Seattle or moved to Buenos Aires with a man thirty years her junior; or did I inadvertently mention plans to go on a trip which you believe to be the ill-advised tom-foolery of too much wine too late at night and access to airplane reservations; or were you following up on the discussion of the Napoleonic era from yesterday or last week and I obviously wasn't paying attention then, either, since the book I promised to look up for you -- what was that? Something about a chair, or a new method for the espalier of apple trees?

I'm sorry, the coffee is cold, and now you are upset, and I'm not sure if it is the cold coffee or the forgotten question or the cat that just crossed the neighbor's lawn stalking a robin or if you just remembered that beginning of the month bills are due and there is a meeting tomorrow morning regarding signing a power of attorney for the family business.

You don't mind if we let the question drop for a moment, do you? I'm sorry, what did you say?

reading a list of 100 books published since 1900, perhaps 75% of which I have read, the plots and characters of the vast majority of which have been consigned to the shadows of memory

weather everywhere, the satiated scent of lilacs