By Linda Pastan
In ethics class so many years ago
our teacher asked this question every fall:
if there were a fire in a museum
which would you save, a Rembrandt painting
or an old woman who hadn't many
years left anyhow?
Restless on hard chairs
caring little for pictures or old age
we'd opt one year for life, the next for art
and always half-heartedly.....
This fall in a real museum I stand
before a real Rembrandt, old woman,
or nearly so, myself. The colors
within this frame are darker than autumn,
darker even than winter - the browns of earth,
though earth's most radiant elements burn
through the canvas. I know now that woman
and painting and season are almost one
and all beyond saving by children.
I had plans on Tuesday to have lunch with a friend whose kids have gone to school with my kids since they were toddlers, but she ended up having to drive her parents to a family funeral. Fortunately for me, gblvr was in the neighborhood at the Apple store shopping for a new Mac, so I persuaded her to go out to lunch with me. Then we got some Ben & Jerry's, came back to my house and watched the first two episodes of Torchwood. Meanwhile, Paul went acquire the second season of Torchwood and the first season of Pushing Daisies on DVD, so after Adam got home from Hebrew school and Daniel got home from robotics, we got to rewatch the first episode, "Pigeon" (the "Birdhouse in Your Soul" episode), and the "Morning Has Broken" scene...some of the greatest moments ever on television! I adore this show!
Otto the Sword Swallower at Mount Vernon last weekend.
Here, Otto swallows a bayonet.
And here he prepares to swallow a sword.
He joked about how the tip was down with the turkey leg he had just had for lunch.
Then he prepared to swallow three swords at once.
And got lots of applause when he did it.
Most of the entertainment at the Colonial Fair, from the puppet shows and medical miracle worker, took place under tents like this, but there were wandering musicians and minstrels around the grounds too.
In the evening, Adam announced that he had to have a bunch of Cascada songs for his mp3 player, so we spent a bunch of time on Amazon.com listening to various songs (and then various versions of songs with dance mixes) trying to figure out which ones to buy. I had never heard of Cascada before but anyone who records a cover of "Because the Night" can't be all bad. Though today I heard for the first time Miley Cyrus's version of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," and...well, let's just say I won't be discarding my Cyndi Lauper CD. Meanwhile as a PSA, I want to make sure everyone in the US knows about Smithsonian Museum Day a week from Saturday, because there are museums open for free everywhere that day and you can download a card to get in. We get very spoiled here in the DC area because so many museums are free but on September 27th, lots of other ones will be, too!