Here the Birds' Journey Ends
By Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by Fady Joudah
Here the birds' journey ends, our journey, the journey of words,
and after us there will be a horizon for the new birds.
We are the ones who forge the sky's copper, the sky that will carve roads
after us and make amends with our names above the distant cloud slopes.
Soon we will descend the widow's descent in the memory fields
and raise our tent to the final winds: blow, for the poem to live, and blow
on the poem's road. After us, the plants will grow and grow
over roads only we have walked and our obstinate steps inaugurated.
And we will etch on the final rocks, "Long live life, long live life,"
and fall into ourselves. And after us there'll be a horizon for the new birds.
One more by Darwish, the Palestinian poet who died last week; this one snicked from this week's New Yorker.
Another day in the lead-up to the start of school next week, we made the inevitable Target run for school supplies and are now the proud owners of new dividers, lined and graph paper, composition books, colored pencils, a compass, and various other necessities (both kids swear they don't need new binders, which means that two weeks from now when Staples and Office Depot are both out of them, we will be frantically searching for one). We also stopped at the mall so Adam could sell back his Petz Catz game for half price and get a used copy of Puzzlequest Challenge Warlords, which apparently pleases him far more and the total was only about $9 more, so that worked out about as well as could be expected. Plus Adam discovered the nightmare that is Owls and proceeded to sing it to me all day, so he was in a good mood. Daniel got new clothes from both me and my mother, yet somehow this did not make him ecstatic.
Oddly enough, in the midst of all this fun, I got a murderous migraine and when the kids finally went to the pool at three, I collapsed on the couch under the influence of Imitrex for two hours. This helped a great deal, though not quickly enough for me to want to go see Jennifer Cutting's Ocean Orchestra even though they were playing for free in Fairfax (we're going to see Iona on Thursday night and Great Big Sea on Friday, so I can't really complain). Instead we stayed home and watched the rest of Amadeus -- not much new material added in the last hour of the director's cut, so it played out pretty much as I remember it from seeing it over and over in the theater my freshman year of college. The kids were extremely attentive, which they are not always during historical epics or classical music, so I felt very gratified.
Daniel requested Robot Chicken before Olympic diving, so we put on the second season and got to see the hilarious Harry Potter parody with Melanie Griffith as Hermione -- "Professor Snape, Harry and Ron have been cursed by the monster Pubertis!" And then Professor Snape tries to convince her to get into his hot tub, at which point she uses Rejecto Pedophilius on him, hee! Plus they did March of the Penguin -- Danny DeVito crossed with Morgan Freeman -- which also cracked us up because we are ALL twelve. Condolences on the cancellation of Stargate Atlantis -- I still haven't caught up on the first season, let alone on this season, but I know a lot of people are very sad!