Also-- if you curb stop someone in the head you are a violent person. And if you are a cop while you do it you are an abomination.
We float together in a sort of amniotic soup. Not only are we not islands, we are all actually touching. I can taste your fear, and you have your elbow in my eye.
Three states back I knew a sailor who was anxious. He struggled with it as best he could. He had come up with something that worked for him, at least a little. He baked.
His wife would wake to an empty bed, and she would know that Brian had had a bad night. She would go down in her bathrobe and find six or eight professional quality, gloriously decorated cakes, each meant to feed 8 or 10 people.
This was right around 9-11, and the Iraq war. We all ate a lot of cake on our street.
There is a lot right now that feels miserable and worrisome. I cannot help or comfort my friends overseas. Borders seem pretty fungible when we are all in the soup. I worry that i will offend. I worry that i don't understand.
I may very well make a cake or two today. It won't be as good as Brian's cakes.(Really the Navy wasted his skills making him an RDC, he should have been moved to pasteries!) So no, not as good, but made with love and hope. I wish you could all come here to eat it.
Warm thoughts today for all who are voting, sitting-in, protesting, assembling, speaking, thinking, and listening. All of you, both sides of the water, are doing the hard good work of representative government.
I sat, as it happens, in very hard chair, the kind that has a spring in the seat so it wants to close up on you, and there is no place to put your arms or the things you have with you. The chairs were arrayed in steeply raked rows, facing a stage far below. The kids came in from the back, so you had to look over your shoulder, as one does at weddings.
The Elgar went around and around, on repeat. Boys came in flopping sneaker feet, lanky, not done yet. The girls came careful, in improbable heels. As one passed close to me I heard her muttering 'Jesus, don't fall, don't fall.' The room sloped away before her at a 45, in semi-darkness, with only the lighted stage ahead. She didn't fall though. None of them did, they were splendid.
There were speeches. the valedictorian, her second, the college advisor, the crew leaders, the director of lower grades, assorted teachers. There was a musical number, and a retrospective slide show. Most of the kids have been at the school since sixth grade (age 11.) So there were tears too, but the good kind.
Then the principal came up, she spoke briefly and they gave out the diplomas. The kids came up one by one, and as they crossed the stage some did a little dance or strut-- the boys mostly, goofy under weight of the moment. Every child got soundly hugged. Everyone in the seats cheered and stamped, and whistled, because this is, after all, Brooklyn.
I usually prefer to mark events by myself, with quiet thought, rather than in a crowd wearing a dress. I can feel the years passing, I know what is going by. But this was really good. I am glad it was just as it was.
There used to be a Navy base there-- a big one. There was a recruit training center, which is Navy boot camp. That is where Mike was sent. He sent me letters for nine weeks, flimsy little folded things that I treasured. We were 22.
I flew down to marry him, over a long weekend. We rode a motorcycle to the JP, and stood clutching the helmets as the words were said. On Monday I flew back to Boston, I had work, he had school. In the fall he came and got me, and we drove down the coast, through the South that I had never seen. There was so much I had to learn: fire ants, palm trees. He was in Nuke school, I hardly saw him.
It seems to me now that it was a city of young men. Everyone was rushing, outgrowing shirt sleeves, learning at top speed. We were all so earnest, so striving, so silly. We were still playing grown-up, playing house. We drank a lot of cheap beer. The nights were pale, and the days were hot. We lived in a horrible apartment complex 5 minutes from the base. Nobody there was any older than us. One couple was 18 and 17, and expecting a baby. They were from Tennessee. We had an actual language barrier problem. They understood me ok, but when they talked I had to ask them to slow down. I was scalded with embarrassment by this.
And maybe this has has nothing to do with the horror in Orlando this week. They were LBGT, and that is different than me. And I am old now, old enough to be the mother of most of them. (Those who were killed were so young. Young in a city that seems made for the young.) But I remember the streets of that city. I remember how it smells at night when you step out of a lighted building into the Southern night. I was young there, I had plans. They had the same wonder and anticipation about the lives they had planned. that I had at that age, in Orlando.
We have all been denied the good things they would have done, the stories they would have told, the lives they would have touched. The loss to us is an ache that we cannot relieve. But they lost so much more, their loss is obscene and monstrous.
It is really serene here so late, most people are off the street. The stores are closed, the lights of the city are visible, but seem far. You can even see some of the brightest stars. I do miss the stars.
Late at night the animals are out. Son and I saw an opossum over the weekend. He did not let us too close, maybe 5 car lengths from him, but he was visible under the streetlight, a little bigger than a cat. You cannot mistake them, nothing else moves that way.
Last night we took Sabir to the beach, and saw a heron fishing in the dark. I had no idea that they did that. I guess it is a good time to get fish, the inlet was hopping with activity. Not least were the amorous armourous horseshoe crabs! We had been waiting and watching-- they did not come with the dark of the moon, but only a few days off. We must have walked the beach for an hour, and saw perhaps 20 of them in the sand, or just going back to the ocean. One couple, still coupled up, seemed to be dead. I left them alone in case they were just really preoccupied.
We did help about 6 or 8, who were stuck upside down. That is not the position to be in when the seagulls wake up. Clogged with sand they move feebly when you poke them, but placed right side up in the water again they remember who they are.
Sabir was able to go off-leash and run. He did not recognize the horseshoe crabs as anything alive. He did find a fish head which he doted on. I took it from him. I always worry there will be a hook.
The little pond-side beach there pleases me a lot. It has the clam flats, and the dunes, and the muddy tangy smell that I remember from my earliest life. The water is full of little fish, the tide edge is hopping with sand fleas. The heron must make a good living there or he would go somewhere else.
We traipsed home in wet sneaks. It was good.
Faustus is written as a man deserving our pity. We can see from the first monologue that we are miles ahead of him. He is pissy and petty, and his theology is kind of a mess. We have the lovely experience of knowing that we are not in his shoes. We can just stand or sit in the audience and watch the trouble unfold.
And when he is truly sorry it is too late. And doesn't that feel like real life? We have all been there, one way or another.
When all is done, divinity is best;
Jerome's Bible, Faustus, view it well.
Stipendium peccati, mors est." Ha! Stipendium, &c:
The reward of sin is death? That's hard.
Si peccasse, negamus, fallimur, et nulla est in nobis veritas.
If we say that we have no sin
We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.
Why then belike we must sin,
And so consequently die.
Ay, we must die, an everlasting death.
What doctrine call you this: Che sera, sera,
What will be, shall be? Divinity, adieu.
Today I was thinking of Kit. I often do. He is in my mind as I go about my tasks. And I would give so much to know what his voice sounded like. (Faustus in OP is as close as I will get. Someday maybe it will be downloadable.) I would love to hear Marlowe speak-- or sing. He could sing. It was a requirement of his school scholarship. I imagine him with a voice that is warm and brownish.
He would not sound at all, at all like Doris Day. That would just be silly.
PS On a quite different matter: Barret Bondon of the Aubreyad was canonically born beneath the great guns of the Indy. It says so right in one of the POB books. And if we figure Bondon was 20 some odd in 1814, when the movie takes place he could have been born in 1792. Does anyone want to have a go at that?