The image of a cellar entrance keeps coming back to me. My ancestors live in dugouts and dung brick homes on the prairie before building brick ones with full basements for when the next funnel cloud might come along to suck up life into its elephant trunk.
We were a burrowing population of that purely horizontal landscape with such an excess of sky that rewarded us with such views of distant galaxies that mountains and towers hide in order to put on their shadow puppet shows with jewels of office lights and necklaces of slithering rivers. Flat landers have a curious view of the vastness of the universe that they see so clearly but seems ever more out of reach. Except when the heavens reach down with a hellish force. To tap the vein of the Milky Way and let it irrigate and drench the thrust of long horns. Drenched in a streaming pool of stars we know the blue heat not until it vaporizes us with the thrust of Wagner providing the appropriate soundtrack to let us become a creek of light. Let the mud puddle fill with lave and reconcile the sky’s tartness and the prairie’s dull, frayed buttons of remorse.
The little teapot shot on the route home was always a reassuring resource that time did not afford a visit. And then one evening it was shuttered with a “for lease” sign in gaudy red and yellow in the window that just yesterday displayed delicate rose patterns and glowing gold handles and rims that echoes the era of grandparents and cherished conversations. such a sudden disappearance is quite common in a city where the streets flow with a frustrated, phlegmatic congestion of lives intolerant of anything below 60 miles per hour.
Passing a duck on a footpath can restore much of what is lost in hollow human transaction, robotic encounters and hours spent hiding behind opaque screens and type fonts that have lost any artful connection to the language they represent. Guttenberg upset the clergy when the Bible suddenly became available to the masses thought a spiritual escort to hand down the supposed word of God that they previously spooned out in stingy little drops. At once the windows of the universe opened on the printed page, and fear of the death of penmanship took hold. At tea cup of lost words and worlds brew an inky refreshment in late afternoon.
This episode of the Magpie Tales is a real Diller.
Summer is the cruelest of all seasons. Heat and ennui, woolens and tweeds banished to the recesses of the closets, movies with explosions instead of Edwardian interiors and muted emotions.
Prelude to the afternoon of a prawn, shrinking and shrimping in its tank before it is harvested. The sound of a cellist in the woods. How did she get there, and why are they serving champagne with spare ribs and macaroons? How did I suddenly become barefoot as I traverse this thorny path to the clearing and the banquet where a bandoneon player has now joined the cellist.
The deconstruction of self that is sometimes mistaken for aging. How did the past 20 years speed by in the span of just a week? At what point will I be mistaken for my grandfather or Uncle Walter? Perhaps I can paste one of their photos into my passport since by then I will no longer have resources to leave the country. Haven’t I always been an imposter anyway, claiming to love summer in order not to spoil it for those who do?
For now I think I will stay for this party as the musicians begin to play the national anthem of a fictional country