Fishing in Winter
By Ralph Burns
A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows. He's forgotten his
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.
He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead. It's cold. The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else--a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub--
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.
We went down to the Smithsonian with the kids to see The Beatles Backstage and Behind the Scenes and Mike McCartney’s Liverpool Life, two photo exhibits at the National Museum of American History which close January 2nd (both highly enjoyable, the Beatles photos in particular -- lots of backstage at Ed Sullivan and lots of publicity routines on the beach (you get a fine view of which way Paul McCartney dresses in his wet swimsuit). We also went through the wonderful fabulous America on the Move exhibit, with its cars, locomotives, subway car and movie about cars in movies, as well as Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers, an exhibit on great athlete-heroes and what they meant to different cultures. We drove home at sunset along the river and it was gorgeous, then got an unexpected invitation to my parents' for leftovers so went over there for dinner and the miserable end of the Redskins game.
Tonight we put on Doctor Zhivago on PBS, mostly out of curiosity because we all love Keira. I must admit that I do not remember the David Lean version very well, as I have not watched it since middle school -- the love story did not impress me and I didn't know enough history for it to hold my interest then, and for some reason I never rewatched it, which I suppose is foolish. But it's probably just as well, because I watched the Masterpiece Theatre version without any preconceptions or expectations and I enjoyed it a lot. For all I know they butchered the story, but I was quite engrossed by the Revolution as it played out in this version of the film and I thought all the lead actors were quite good (I love the way Sam Neill can make me love him in one film and loathe him in the next without my ever holding either one against any of his characters, though he's instantly recognizable -- unlike Hans Matheson whom we had to look up before we realized it was Mists of Avalon from which we were remembering him). I found it fairly predictable, down to the dialogue in places, but the actors made it all quite vivid and emotional.
We're having a pretty quiet holiday week: I think we're going to see A Series of Unfortunate Events tomorrow after the kids play with their friends, then Tuesday we are going to Philadelphia with my parents and the kids to sightsee. I haven't even started looking at the bonanza of new fic out there from various secret santa communities, and I haven't written anything complete besides this one drabble for lupin100, just because the bunny was there. Having kids home full-time requires a full-time entertainment committee! Tomorrow I'll post pictures from the maritime and shipping exhibits. Today:
The original Kermit the Frog, Jim Henson's creation. It's not easy being green.
Brian Boitano's skates from the 1988 Olympics.
One of Bobby Joe Morrow's gold medals.
One of Sandy Koufax's gloves from his career with the Dodgers. Koufax was a favorite of my father, a lifelong Dodgers fan, and one of a small number of Jewish sports legends.
A Miracle on Ice uniform from the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.
This is the wall just inside the second-floor entrance where the Star Spangled Banner used to hang, but that flag has been moved to a special lab (viewable by the public) for extensive cleaning and restoration; it will likely never hang vertically again. This large flag flew from the Pentagon from September 12, 2001 until it was given to the Smithsonian. I suspect the ash damage will never be cleaned.