Falling Asleep to the Sound of Rain
By Eavan Boland
Understanding where you live is first of all
knowing its noises which are memorized
without you knowing that they are, for instance
weather: starting after midnight after stillness
is the clink-clink Irish rain makes on its journey in
a garden in the suburbs, falling on out of season
jasmine then iron railings between
my neighbor's house and mine; which began at sea.
I loved small towns—they seemed to come from
a kinder time: shop blinds lowered on weekday
afternoons, peaceful evenings with beds turned down,
shoes gathering, two by two, under them and in
the cellars of nearby farms, stopped up, ready
to be sold on market day, oily, sharp cheddars,
getting sharper, growing older. But the truth is
there is no truth in this. I never lived there.
What would it mean, I used to wonder, to leave
everything you knew, leave it altogether, never mention
memories; start again inside that reticence?
I once drove into Tarbert at dawn. Everything was gone.
No distances; no trees. Only imagined ones.
I had to begin making my own pageant of
small hawthorn flowers, elderberry. We love fog because
it shifts old anomalies into the elements
surrounding them. It gives relief from a way of seeing.
It is the gift of sleep or the approach to sleep,
to make component parts of place and consciousness
meaningless and, as breathing slows down,
to do what water does, announce a source in cadence,
repetition, sound, allow a gradual dissolving of
boundaries between the actual and evident and still,
when all that is done, I know there never was
a single place for me. I never lost enough to have one.
I want to live where they refused to speak—
those first emigrants who never said
where they came from, what they left behind.
Their country was a finger to the lips, a child's question stopped.
And yet behind their eyes in eerie silence, was an island, if you
looked for it: bronze-green perch in a mute river.
Peat smoke rising from soundless kindling.
Rain falling on leaves and iron, making no noise at all.
My in-laws arrived bright and early on Friday from Pennsylvania to go to younger son's final elementary school orchestra performance, which was held at 9:30 a.m. so as not to interfere with anyone attending the local high school graduation later in the day. Son played all of the pieces for strings, including one he composed himself, entitled "Birdie Song," which actually sounded reasonably sophisticated compared to some of the other student compositions (I love that this music teacher lets them write their own music and creates orchestral-sounding backups on his keyboard). Then in-laws went downtown while I stayed home to get life in order, not very successfully; did manage to write a mean-spirited review of "Angel One" sure to get me labeled a feminist shrike, but what else is new?
In the afternoon I had a house full of boys, as several of the kids' friends were here, then apaulled picked his parents up from the Metro and we all went to the elementary school end-of-year bash, where we ate pizza (kids) and chicken salad (adults) and the kids went on assorted moon bounces, slides, batting cages, etc. I left early with older son, who was rather out of his peer group and was bored after the Dippin' Dots. There were bunnies around the side of the playground happily munching away on the grass, totally unconcerned about all the people, which made me happy.
All the portables and play equipment are coming down, along with the school, which will be rebuilt next year.
My son has spent the past two years in these portables, as did my older son. (Here they are the backdrop for dessert vendors.)
There was also a bake sale and a local ice cream truck stopped by. I love the blissful expressions of kids with dessert!
This was new to me: an arena where kids "fought" with big foam things and tried to knock each other down! It was a big hit with the boys.
Here is a very unhappy child at the duck pond who not only did not pick the duck with the prize he wanted but also ended up with a very wet shirt. I came home with a plastic turtle and a superball, but I cheated...I found them on the ground!
Here is the last photo of an elementary school concert that I will ever post.
fridayfiver: The Day Aldous Huxley Died
1. What year were you born? 1966.
2. Who do you like to hug? My kids.
3. Do you run away or face your problems? Usually a bit of the former before the latter.
4. How much cash do you have on you? About twenty-three dollars at the moment, which is a lot for me.
5. Friday fill-in: I know exactly how to ____. Procrastinate.
thefridayfive: Big Pretentious Questions
1. You're holding a dinner party and can invite three famous people from the past or present; who would they be? Jesus Christ, Elizabeth I and Amelia Earhart.
2. You have the opportunity to question someone about something you've always wanted to know and receive a truthful answer; what would your question be? I want to know about my mother's mother's life before she married my grandfather, secrets she apparently took with her to the grave.
3. If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? I'd really enjoy exercising and it would never give me a headache.
4. If you could save other people's lives by completing an act that would lead to your own death, would you do it? This is one of those insanely silly abstract questions! If I could have stopped the World Trade Center from collapsing, I'd have done it. If I could save two random strangers and knew it would certainly kill me, I honestly can't say yes without being in the situation.
5. Would you commit murder if you knew that you could get away with it? No. There's no one I want to kill that badly and I hope there never is.
fannish5: Imagine a con that perfectly fits your interests and preferences and describe five panels or events at that con.
Conventions have been work as often as play for me -- the past several Star Trek cons I've attended have all been to do interviews/reports, which makes it a really different experience than going just to see people and hang out. If I could describe five perfect panels, I'd propose them to someone actually running a con.
hp_fridayfive: Choose one of the books! Any book will do. Fine: Prisoner of Azkaban.
1. Who is your favorite character introduced in the book? Remus Lupin.
2. What is your favorite chapter? Seventeen.
3. Which storyline do you find most interesting? Sirius Black's backstory.
4. What is your least favorite part? Divination Class.
5. Do you still have any unanswered questions from this book? Why did Rowling create this magnificent AIDS metaphor in the character of a werewolf, only to subject him to compulsory heterosexuality and destroy a female character in the process three books later?
I wanted to record the first two POTC movies for my in-laws but the first one is no longer On Demand, which is annoying because they got annoyed that I didn't want to lend them my DVDs but now that I have seen the third movie, I would like to rewatch the first two myself, and the last time I loaned them a DVD, they had it for several months. It irritates me when people act like we're a lending library because we have a lot of movies...the whole reason we have them is so we can watch them when we want. If they're going to keep things for extended periods, I think we should get late fees!