One of the Lives
By W. S. Merwin
If I had not met the red-haired boy whose father
had broken a leg parachuting into Provence
to join the resistance in the final stage of the war
and so had been killed there as the Germans were moving north
out of Italy and if the friend who was with him
as he was dying had not had an elder brother
who also died young quite differently in peacetime
leaving two children one of them with bad health
who had been kept out of school for a whole year by an illness
and if I had written anything else at the top
of the examination form where it said college
of your choice or if the questions that day had been
put differently and if a young woman in Kittanning
had not taught my father to drive at the age of twenty
so that he got the job with the pastor of the big church
in Pittsburgh where my mother was working and if
my mother had not lost both parents when she was a child
so that she had to go to her grandmother’s in Pittsburgh
I would not have found myself on an iron cot
with my head by the fireplace of a stone farmhouse
that had stood empty since some time before I was born
I would not have travelled so far to lie shivering
with fever though I was wrapped in everything in the house
nor have watched the unctuous doctor hold up his needle
at the window in the rain light of October
I would not have seen through the cracked pane the darkening
valley with its river sliding past the amber mountains
nor have wakened hearing plums fall in the small hour
thinking I knew where I was as I heard them fall
This is going to be another largely fannish squee post, so let me apologize in advance for being shallow. I spent the early part of Monday with juleskicks who came over with the two-hour Firefly pilot, "Serenity", which I liked so much better than the episodes I've seen so far and which made so much more sense of them -- why did the network not kick off the series with this? Silly network! I am still ambivalent about Serenity given some of the spoilers and fan hysteria I've seen surrounding them; juleskicks had invited me to go with her to the local advance screening, but we are leaving town the next day for the long weekend and I need to see my parents before we bail on them, so I will have to wait till later in the summer. There are so many movies on my to-see list: The Island, Batman Begins, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (shut up, I love Angelina), War of the Worlds (it's Spielberg, I'm not going to not-go)...and pretty much everything is PG-13 so we will probably take the kids to most of them. I had been wondering whether Cinderella Man would be appropriate and am so psyched that I will get to screen it, for free, before it opens nationally. I love EW!
I had no vehicle today since the van was being serviced, so I could only feed my guest leftover Indian food which fortunately was all right with her. apaulled came home early, picked up older son from the bus and then we all went to retrieve the vehicle since we had to drive them home separately, so there was a bit of chaos in the afternoon in and around writing up Patrick Stewart and Connor Trinneer interviews (note: Trinneer comes across really smart and very serious about acting, I've not encountered this in any of the dorky sci-fi magazine interviews with him before, it's worth going to TheFandom.com and downloading...skip 30 minutes in to when he finally arrives!) And in the evening the kids had already decided that we were going to watch Star Wars -- the real, the original -- A New Hope, if you insist, but I am from the era when Han shot first and there was no V or VI on the horizon. It made me appreciate III more, particularly the use of musical themes associated with characters and landscapes, and a lot of the visuals that refer back (forward?) to IV, particularly one ship from the end of III and the start of IV that I hadn't realized was reproduced so exactly. I like no longer having the sense that the two trilogies are quite thoroughly disconnected as I had after I and II.
frickabrandis is helping to feed my obsessions. This is a good thing, right? Nothing bad can happen to me for thinking naughty thoughts about paper dolls, right? My only other stuff today had to do with dealing with kids and parents and various annoyances, plus a long phone call from my in-laws whom we are visiting this weekend and going sightseeing with -- my husband's mother is making all of us knitted Marvins following the pattern here in fandomknit, yay!
This year the county got rid of the last of the play equipment there left over from my own childhood as well as nearly all the equipment from my kids' childhood to comply with new safety rules, which is a bummer. In addition to not having fairy tale slides and towers anymore, the park has not had the little animal farm for years, but the trash and facilities around the miniature train are still animal themed.
This trash can, for instance, has been at the park as long as I can remember, as has the water fountain above. My kids seem finally to have outgrown the train, which is rather sad!
And this totem pole, which was erected before I was born, is still at the entrance near the playground.