Waiting and Finding
By Jack Gilbert
While he was in kindergarten, everybody wanted to play
the tomtoms when it came time for that. You had to
run in order to get there first, and he would not.
So he always had a triangle. He does not remember
how they played the tomtoms, but he sees clearly
their Chinese look. Red with dragons front and back
and gold studs around that held the drumhead tight.
If you had a triangle, you didn't really make music.
You mostly waited while the tambourines and tomtoms
went on a long time. Until there was a signal for all
triangle people to hit them the right way. Usually once.
Then it was tomtoms and waiting some more. But what
he remembers is the sound of the triangle. A perfect,
shimmering sound that has lasted all his long life.
Fading out and coming again after a while. Getting lost
and the waiting for it to come again. Waiting meaning
without things. Meaning love sometimes dying out,
sometimes being taken away. Meaning that often he lives
silent in the middle of the world's music. Waiting
for the best to come again. Beginning to hear the silence
as he waits. Beginning to like the silence maybe too much.
My mother and I went Tuesday morning to meet with the photographer from younger son's Bar Mitzvah, because though we had both seen the event photos on her web site, we were having a hard time comparing photos on our small computer screens to decide which we wanted in albums and which we might want to get framed. It was a lot of fun, both seeing the photos on her big TV monitor and just talking photography -- some of my favorite photos that she took aren't pictures that I'd put in the album except perhaps as low-contrast page backgrounds, like the wide shots in the sanctuary and the restaurant before the guests started arriving, but they're really interesting to me in terms of the composition and lighting. I told her that she should take them to the Melting Pot and ask if they'd want her to do their advertising, because I was ready to go out for fondue as soon as the pictures of the steaming cheese pots came up.
Instead my mother took me to the nearby Praline Bakery & Bistro, where I had excellent tomato barley soup and an even more excellent salad with poached pear, bleu cheese, port wine vinaigrette, and grilled chicken, all while sitting on the terrace in the gorgeous first-day-of-fall weather. Then I did laundry and tried to encourage younger son to study for his math test and older son to study his history while they found ways to distract themselves with YouTube videos. Paul and Daniel thought their allergies were bothering them this weekend, but I now suspect that they had colds, because I think I caught it...either that, or allergy season came roaring in with the equinox this afternoon. Ah well, at least I don't have to go to the dentist till Thursday.
The old bridge and aqueduct on the Potomac River.
Herons and cormorants in the river.
A spider by what's left of the canal wall.
There are snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, and painted turtles in the sunny still water.
A male cardinal singing in the trees.
Another green heron fishing in the duckweed.
An old wagon at Poole's General Store, Seneca.
I liked the Warehouse 13 season finale a lot -- good balance of all the characters, interesting spin on Claudia and Leena, and for everything that's derivative, X-Files-Relic Hunter-Indiana Jones ripoff, any show that can pull off with the line, "This place is full of like the worst guys ever...Hitler, Mussolini, Michael Vick..." is a keeper as far as I'm concerned. It'll be back in 2010, right?