By Peggy Simson Curry
Long after we are gone,
Summer will stroke this ridge in blue;
The hawk still flies above the flowers,
Thinking, perhaps, the sky has fallen
And back and forth forever he may trace
His shadow on its azure face.
Long after we are gone,
Evening wind will languish here
Between the lupine and the sage
To die a little death upon the earth,
As though over the sundown prairies fell
A requiem from a bronze-tongued bell.
Long after we are gone,
This ridge will shape the night,
Lifting the wine-streaked west,
Shouldering the stars. And always here
Lovers will walk under the summer skies
Through flowers the color of your eyes.
Our original plan for Saturday was to go to Mount Vernon for the sheep-shearing festival there, but it was drizzly and we needed to get the bridge on Adam's viola repaired at the shop in Gaithersburg, so we decided to put that off till Monday and instead went shopping for a bunch of things Adam wanted so he can make more movies -- lamps, a green screen -- plus cat litter and other necessities. Since we were in Gaithersburg, we also went to Bohrer Park, where we walked around the pond and saw a heron, songbirds, turtles, ducks, and two goose families with goslings, then we went to Rio and walked around Washingtonian Lake where we saw ducklings (I think the ones I saw the other day, though there are only three now, which makes me sad, and still no sign of a mother -- the one female duck in the area kept chasing them away). Daniel went along with this because we got him blue raspberry ice.
A good-sized flock of geese lives there...
...including these adorable young goslings...
...and these gawky dinosaur-ish adolescents.
In addition to the red-winged blackbirds in the cattails, there are dragonflies in the wetlands...
...and great blue herons.
Here are a duck and ducklings at Rio, though the ducklings weren't with the duck, just in the same area trying to get breadcrumbs from visitors tossing them in.
They were swimming with the geese, who mostly ignored them.
For our evening entertainment, we watched The Special Relationship on HBO. I know my British friends will probably lose all respect for me for my crush on movie!Tony Blair and especially movie!Cherie Blair, who is my favorite character in the Fictional Recent British History films -- I blame Michael Sheen and Helen McCrory, though I thought Dennis Quaid and especially Hope Davis were very good as the Clintons. It feels a lot like reading RPF to watch movies about people who are alive and aware of the stories being told about them, so I don't mind noting that the screenwriters are deliberately naughty (Cherie to Tony: "Before you develop too much of a crush, remember that your visionary is the President of the United States.") It's fun, but it's also interesting to remember how much we over here adored Blair when our press was presenting him to us as Kosovo's champion and Ireland's peace-broker; we didn't get the coverage of the political showboating that apparently made him unpopular in Britain even before Bush's war finished him.
It's interesting that this film is coming out now, when it can't possibly have an effect on the Labour Party's electoral chances, because Blair (and by extension his party) really looks good -- and I don't just mean in a good-looking sense, though I snickered a lot at Bill's line in the movie that it's not often you see a political couple where the husband is more attractive than the wife and Tony is really handsome. Early on movie!Bill tells movie!Tony to think about what he wants his legacy to be, even though Tony's only weeks into his tenure as Prime Minister, and promptly the footage cuts to Northern Ireland; I'm afraid that will always be the Tony Blair I remember, not the one who followed Bush into the Iraq war or gave all his buddies cushy positions, but the one who accomplished what I'd thought would never happen in my childhood and got the Irish on the same page. Movie!Tony has lovely late-night conversations with movie!Bill about how to accomplish this.
There are lots of moments I enjoyed, some historical, some completely made up: Cherie distressed that Bill goes to his wife before anyone else for advice while Tony has his boys' club, and later asking whether blow jobs count as adultery and staring in horror as the crowd of men around her husband, including her husband, all instantly agree that it does not; Tony quoting the Book of Ruth to Bill, "Whither thou goest, I will go," in a straight riff from the real-life press conference; Tony not wanting to hear discussions among his staff about Bill's penis size ("five and a half inches long and curved...I'd have said eight inches long and thick as a baguette"); Tony and Cherie both being devastated at what's happening in Kosovo, passionate about how what happens anywhere in Europe affects Britain, the major US newspapers comparing Tony to Churchill, but then Tony speaking to Bill about it mostly in terms of Tony's own political legacy where it's not clear if this is because Tony thinks Bill will relate to that or because deep down Tony cares about keeping his position more than about the lives at stake.
And Bill's final swipe at Tony, "I'm not sure you are a center-left politician any more, or that you ever were." That's a lot more interesting than the recreated Lewinsky scandal, which seems to be all the reviews I've read talk about -- how well Quaid and Davis play the private scenes between Bill and Hillary, which come across as more contrived to me than any others in the film (not for one second do I believe that Hillary reacted with shock and surprise when Bill admitted he behaved inappropriately with Monica), but I think Cherie's irritation turning to disgust at Tony's admiration for Bill makes for better family drama. And I like the scene with the four Clintons and Blairs together talking about what makes a good political wife, both mocking expectations and mocking other women at the same time -- not very nice, but it seems fairly real.