By Seamus Heaney
All I know is a door into the dark.
Outside, old axles and iron hoops rusting;
Inside, the hammered anvil's short-pitched ring,
The unpredictable fantail of sparks
Or hiss when a new shoe toughens in water.
The anvil must be somewhere in the centre,
Horned as a unicorn, at one end square,
Set there immoveable: an altar
Where he expends himself in shape and music.
Sometimes, leather-aproned, hairs in his nose,
He leans out on the jamb, recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;
Then grunts and goes in, with a slam and a flick
To beat real iron out, to work the bellows.
Our intended destination when Adam got out of Hebrew school was the Folger Shakespeare Library, which has an exhibit on Renaissance journalism through next weekend, but a certain member of the family misread the calendar and didn't realize that it was closed on Sundays. So since we were already parked on Capitol Hill, we walked around the Capitol Building, admired the inauguration scaffolding that was still in place, then went to the U.S. Botanic Garden, which had the triple advantages of being nearby, being open, and being warm. I had only brought the small camera, since the Folger does not allow photos inside, so these aren't my best shots of flowers, and I failed completely to record the names of the specimens, but here is a glimpse of what we saw:
My parents -- who had asked if we wanted to go to the Smithsonian's American History museum with them, but we declined since we were just there two weeks ago -- invited us over for pizza, so we had dinner with them. Then we came home and watched the end of the second season of Arrested Development, which brought back everything that made me howl from the first season -- sad Charlie Brown music, the incestuous cousin movie, hot cops, Gob and Michael beating each other up...I am so sad that the third season is truncated and there isn't any more after that. Oh, but I keep forgetting to mention how very happy I am that Obama lifted the Global Gag Rule! It was so nice to be downtown knowing that Bush is no longer in the White House!