By Richard Wilbur
In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.
I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which
The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.
I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash
And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark
And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,
And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,
It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.
It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.
Most of my day involved doing laundry interspersed with long phone calls. gblvr and I yakked for about an hour about various family and fannish stuff. Then I got a phone call from someone I've known online for about seven years but have never actually spoken to before, someone I have worked with at TrekToday who has a horrific illness in her family and wanted a recommendation for a job; it was so lovely finally to speak to her and such awful circumstances, when she has so many terrible things going on.
apaulled brought me The Prestige on DVD when he picked up younger son from Hebrew school, and though I intended to watch only a bit of it while folding laundry, I ended up watching the entire movie plus most of the extras. It was every bit as good as I remembered and the Tesla feature made me feel justified in having written a massively long philosophical review for Green Man! Younger son is still tearing the house apart looking for his missing Pokemon Leaf Green game, and now that he knows surgeons who play video games are more skilled, he feels entirely justified in this effort.
Maryland Catholics brought their faith to Pennsylvania in about 1730, and this stone chapel -- built to replace an earlier original -- is the oldest stone Catholic Church in the US.
The Virgin Mary under the dome of the basilica...
...one of many beautiful, detailed paintings overhead in the church.
I'm not sure why there is an umbrella on the altar.
But the organ is very nice, though the windows are being cleaned so some of them are covered.
And the Mary chapel is too.
I spent far too much time watching TV, since Tuesday night is Boston Legal night and we had to catch up on the Battlestar Galactica we missed Sunday for The State Within. Watching Shatner have a phobia about going to synagogue somehow amuses me enormously where I would have found it somewhat stereotypical and offensive if it was anyone else, which I don't get...and while I keep swearing off Adama/Roslin, they keep pulling me back in! Augh! Boston Legal was a bit diffuse, with God and friendship as the ostensible common themes but it wasn't my favorite episode by a long stretch. There’s no Shirley and a lot of Alan, who has two cases at once: a friend, Maureen, who has stolen her father's corpse from an art display because her mother donated his body -- based largely on her rage that he drank and cheated on her -- and a psychiatrist fired for claiming to have seen aliens wants his job back -- with the hospital represented by Jerry Espinson.
Meanwhile, Bethany wants Denny to go to shul with her, and Brad wants Denise to marry him and become his housewife. The religious storyline is played as utter crack...Denny says that he's a Lutheran and because he believes in Luther, he's not comfortable in temple, but Bethany makes him go anyway and when kids stop his snoring with spitballs, he fires a paintball dart at the rabbi, who then threatens to sue, leading Denny to announce that "you people" are too defensive and triggering a breakup with Bethany for insisting that Israel doesn't have the right to defend itself the way the US does. The Brad and Denise storyline is not quite played for crack, which is a big mistake...oh, it's funny at first, when Paul keeps overhearing Brad trying to date Denise who prefers a couples counselor, but when they go to Alan's sex therapist friend and Brad babbles about how women really want to stay home, cook dinner and raise children while still calling themselves feminists with shots of Denise looking what I think it supposed to be tempted. This whole "You're Having My Baby" storyline is becoming far more irritating than at all likeable.
Anyway, Jerry is newly confident because he has a fake cigarette to keep him grounded, and when Alan feels threatened -- after greeting Jerry so enthusiastically that the blah blah judge says he won't have happiness or hugging in his courtroom -- he sets out not only to prove that the UFO was real, but that the UFO doctor may be more grounded than Jerry, whom Alan knows is just faking all this confidence. When Jerry ends up cringing, Alan apologizes, saying it's his job to psych out the opposing counsel and reminding Jerry tht Alan once advised him to stop being a lawyer because it makes people do ugly things: "I'm very accomplished in the practice of law, Jerry." Jerry gets his client to agree to a settlement whereby the psychiatrist can continue to practice if he doesn't mention UFOs to patients, but he is shaken, hands back on his thighs, and says he really should thank Alan for the lesson about how opposing counsel will exploit his Aspergers.
Alan obviously feels terrible, even though he is successful in defending Maureen, convincing the jury that she was just trying to help her father find peace. "I want so badly to believe in God," he says, because the alternative is in believing in humans, and the pollution, nukes, neglect of starving Africans and the rest does not make him feel good about humans. Over their cigars, Denny says he isn't surprised that Bethany broke up with him over Middle East politics because he really can't understand what it means to be Jewish...he can't even understand what it means to be Lutheran, but he believes in God because if there isn't one, then no harm, no foul, but if there is one and you don't believe, you're screwed. Since God made man in his image, Denny believes that God looks like Denny Crane, only thinner, and He allows human suffering because He's overextended. Alan says that he mostly believes in friendship -- mostly Denny's and Jerry Espinson's -- and doesn't believe that he was a good friend that day, but Denny says that at the end of the day, they have to be who they are. "You and I, more than anything..." "...lawyers," concludes Alan.
I was bored during a lot of BSG...not one of the better-written episodes, and Cally has always annoyed me, and the Chief seems to be a different character every single week. But it was an Adama episode, and even though I wanted to hit him upside the head for most of it -- did we have ANY inkling about all the stuff Lee said about his mother? -- during the moments when Bill and Laura were alone together, I did not care. And given that this is MooreRon's show, I hated myself for that. For a horrific moment when I saw Adama in bed with a blonde, I thought he was fucking Starbuck and was ready never to watch the series again, which might have been easier!
I shrieked with glee when Caroline's ghost asked Bill whether Laura might have a thing for bad boys and then needled him about his excuses for keeping his distance. Laura deserves better than a man who can't be there for her totally; she needs a handsome clever young guy who doesn't have so much baggage and so many responsibilities that he has to be reminded to stop and enjoy himself. And I am still rooting for Roslin/Adama. Knowing MooreRon, nothing will happen in a few days or if it does, we won't find out about it till two seasons from now, but I still let myself love those scenes and I still think I suck!
Oh...and I have re-scanned and posted the dog article here for anyone on my friends list who wants to be able to read the tidbits!
And happy birthday, Alan. Gifts to follow. *whistles*