By Frank Bidart
Woe is blunted not erased
by like. Your hands were too full, then
empty. At the grave’s
lip, secretly you imagine then
refuse to imagine
so like what you watched die, the unique
soul you loved endures a second death.
The dead hate like, bitter
when the living with too-small
grief replace them. You dread
loving again, exhausted by the hungers
ineradicable in his presence. You resist
strangers until a stranger makes the old hungers
brutally wake. We live by symbolic
substitution. At the grave’s lip, what is
but is not is what
returns you to what is not.
Another from this week's New Yorker.
My only significant event of the day, besides enjoying a brief snow squall and squeeing delightedly at the Doctor Who casting spoiler (thank you Russell T. Davies for keeping your promise), was taking my kids to the ophthalmologist. The doctor visit itself was fine; it's always slow waiting for the drops to dilate their eyes and they get restless because they can't do homework or read while waiting, but neither of them has had any significant change in vision in the past two years, which is good. I am still laughing, however, because the receptionist refused to let me have one of the lollipops in the container for patients who had behaved on the grounds that it would make the other kids waiting in the lobby jealous ("the other kids" being two teenage siblings of a patient to whom it really would not have been a crisis for her to have offered lollipops). This woman is scarier than my kindergarten teacher, who was terrifying!
Since I posted photos yesterday of the grand, relatively new shrine in Washington, DC, I thought the oldest stone Catholic church building in the U.S. would make an interesting contrast.
The church recently finished restoring the stained glass windows, which are beautiful and still very old-world in appearance.
There were people praying in the church, so I avoided using flash, and I guessed the shutter speed wrong here.
The side chapel devoted to Mary also has the church's history in framed photos and news articles on the walls.
The bell in front commemorates the tercentenary anniversary of the canonization of Aloysius Gonzaga, who gave up his position as heir to the Marquis of Castiglione to become a Jesuit.
The church sits atop a hill, so the spire is visible from a distance...very helpful when we were driving there, since we could see it to orient ourselves.
In the evening the kids made me watch Pokemon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, so we could record it off cable. We have seen all of the previous Pokemon movies, but I only had to sit all the way through the first two, when we were required to take the kids to see them in the movie theater...I believe I fell asleep during the one with the big white bird (Lugia?). I sort of liked the one with the evil Pokemon cat and N'Sync's recording of "Somewhere, Someday" on the soundtrack, except I was rooting for the villain since he could talk instead of just saying "Pika!" and "Squirtle!" The new movie has a penguin Pokemon called Piplup that dances when it's happy, so I would have to rate it higher than some of the Pokemon movies I've seen -- the one with Manaphy was too annoying for words!