By Carl Dennis
Today as we walk in Paris I promise to focus
More on the sights before us than on the woman
We noticed yesterday in the photograph at the print shop,
The slender brunette who looked like you
As she posed with a violin case by a horse-drawn omnibus
Near the Luxembourg Gardens. Today I won't linger long
On the obvious point that her name is as lost to history
As the name of the graveyard where her bones
Have been crumbling to dust for over a century.
The streets we're to wander will shine more brightly
Now that it's clear the day of her death
Is of little importance compared to the moment
Caught in the photograph as she makes her way
Through afternoon light like this toward the Seine.
The cold rain that fell this morning has given way to sunshine.
The gleaming puddles reflect our mood
Just as they reflected hers as she stepped around them
Smiling to herself, happy that her audition
An hour before went well. After practicing scales
For years in a village whose name isn't recorded,
She can study in Paris with one of the masters.
No way of telling now how close her life
Came to the life she hoped for as she rambled,
On the day of the photograph, along the quay.
But why do I need to know when she herself,
If offered a chance to peruse the book of the future,
Might shake her head no and turn away?
She wants to focus on her afternoon, now almost gone,
As we want to focus on ours as we stand
Here on the bridge she stood on to watch
The steamers push up against the current or ease down.
This flickering light on the water as boats pass by
Is the flow that many painters have tried to capture
Without holding too still. By the time these boats arrive
Far off in the provinces and give up their cargoes,
Who knows where the flow may have carried us?
But to think now of our leaving is to wrong the moment.
We have to be wholly here as she was
If we want the city that welcomed her
To welcome us as students trained in her school
To enjoy the music as much as she did
When she didn't grieve that she couldn't stay
It was a very up and down Friday. The highlights were lunch, Sharpe and Firefly with juleskicks and lohowarose (whom I think I disappointed greatly by saying that every time Inara is onscreen I just can't bear the series; I keep wondering why it hasn't really clicked with me when there are things I really like about it, and today I realized that in a nutshell, I absolutely loathe the phony way the character is written and when she is chasing Mal around with her great big anime eyes I just want to puke). We had California Tortilla and my cat was in heaven taking over their laps afterward.
Then I tried to work, but my cable was up and down all day yesterday and trying to download files remains a point of contention. I wrote a not-very-satisfying review of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and the site columns, discovered that UPN is jerking around Enterprise reruns so no one can figure out when they're going to be on, tried to get a Nimoy interview that is just going to have to wait another day because my son's school end of year picnic was supposed to be this evening. Did I mention that it rained all day? The "picnic" was squashed indoors on school tables, in corridors too crowded to walk through. By late evening it was only drizzling, so they put up the moon bounce (SpongeBob) and they put the giant inflatable twister in the gym, so the kids ended up having a pretty good time, but it's not the same without the giant inflatable slides and the disco booming across the entire blacktop and field area.
The other entertainment in my day was more Russell (don't worry, non-Crowe fans, this is the last week of this -- now that CM is playing, he will vanish from the radar until he has another movie to promote!) I saw the morning rerun of The Daily Show -- Jon says getting hit in the nose is the most painful thing there is, and without missing a beat Russell says, "What about electrodes on your testicles?" and Jon splutters and says, "Obviously I don't go to the same clubs you do!" Russell says compared to electrodes on his testicles, he'd rather be hit in the face, then points out that Jon was just talking about Guantanamo Bay so it was relevant. And then they have a discussion about how Americans don't travel enough and how Jon needs to travel, while Jon attempts to pick on Russell's colloquialisms which Russell pretty much doesn't use until he explains interjections like "kanga-bloody-roo" which is what you get when a kangaroo fucks up your car. *g* Jon actually seemed intimidated by him which I found quite amusing! We also watched the HBO making-of special which is rerunning all week, which was much more typical stuff worshipping Braddock and his family and showing clips, but still fun.
I did want to point out (courtesy perkypaduan) this Baltimore Sun article on Max Baer, one of very few boxers I have ever heard of and the "villain" of the second half of CM. One of the few things I thought I knew about Baer was that he was Jewish, though as it turns out I was wrong -- he was of Jewish descent and profoundly anti-Nazi in the 1930s, so he wore a Star of David not even as a symbol of his own beliefs but to make an anti-Aryan statement at a time when many Americans were turning their heads. The writer of this article feels that Baer was a real hero and that the film's rah-rah good ole' Catholic boy portrayal of Braddock while making Baer into a boorish lout did a disservice to history and to what might have made instead a very interesting parallel story. (The Washington Post had complaints about Baer's portrayal too, as did Slate.)
thefridayfive: Ages and stages.
1. What things did you enjoy as a child that you no longer do? Visiting my grandparents in Brooklyn, going on swings every time I was at the park, watching Star Trek every night, listening to a lot of musicals.
2. What things did you enjoy as a child that you still do today? Travel, fantasy movies, collecting little animal carvings, writing poetry, being near water or in the mountains, chocolate.
3. What things do you do now, that the child you were never thought you'd like? Taking care of kids, going to school awards events, drinking coffee, eating squash, taking long car trips, shopping for my own socks and underwear.
4. If you could go back to one age and stay there for a while, what would it be? Early thirties, I suppose. I knew who I was and I was young enough to decide I wanted an entirely different career, three more kids, etc.
5. If you could fast forward to an age (you do get to come back!) for a while, what would it be? No desire to do so -- I'll get there sooner than I want, I'm sure!
fridayfiver: Totally biased for the northern hemi.
1. Have any exciting summer plans? Going to Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula for my husband's grandmother's 90th birthday and to sightsee.
2. What's the best summer vacation you've ever taken? Driving across the U.S. the year before last.
3. Would we be more likely to see you lounging by a pool or out waterskiing? Waterskiing, if I knew how.
4. Will you be putting on a swimsuit this season? Since I have children who need to be supervised on the beach and at the pool, I shall have no choice.
5. If you could take a summer vacation anywhere, for 3 weeks, where would you go, and why? Tibet, to Mt. Kailas, to circumnambulate the mountain and erase the errors I've made in this life. (No, it's not really my religion, but it can't possibly hurt, and I would love to see the Buddhist and Hindu center of the universe as well as the Himalayas in general.)
fannish5: What 5 reunion movies would you like to see?
1. Mission: Impossible (the original Landau/Bain cast; Nimoy can join them too)
3. The X-Files (Mulder, Scully, Doggett AND Reyes, plus Krycek, Cancer Man etc.)
4. Hercules & Xena (would settle for one or the other but would love both combined)
Note: Star Trek is not on this list because without Kelley and Doohan, whom I imagine is too ill to participate, it wouldn't be a real reunion and would just make me sad. And Deep Space Nine isn't on here because I'm afraid they'd just muck it up, and I'd rather remember it with love.
I know I still owe lots of comments but I am very tired and worn out and sick of it all right now. From now on I am not bothering to justify who I take off my friends list and why. I'm going to keep my political arguments in realms where they matter, where I'm not alternately preaching to the converted or being accused of narrow-mindedness because I don't want to be lectured in my own journal that's supposed to be for entertainment and relaxation. I should be spending more time with the RCRC and less here.
This is something of an experiment -- a photo of the boathouse by the Hanover YMCA run through the watercolor filter in Photoshop. *g*