Thursday, November 22, 2007

folded hands

I've been drawing on the train. Thirteen days ago, it
was an old Hasidim who hung his head low as he read
the paper. And, when he was done, he folded and
refolded his hands, constantly switching which was on
top, so that it seemed as if they were transparent and
you could see one old wrinkly hand right through the

Last night a cold front blew in and I woke to frost on the glass. The house is quiet; the kids are away at grandparent's and it is just me in bed with coffee and the wind.

I love the idea of families all snuggled together today, sharing a meal, laughing and arguing and just, well--sharing one another's company and giving thanks for the beauty of their lives--just their lives, that is so much to be thankful for.

Being alone, I will do the sanest thing I know: First I will go for a walk on the trail. And I will pray for everything I can imagine. The things I am thankful for, the things I may take for granted, and for those who are not safely ensconced in the presence of loved ones, dysfunctional or otherwise.

Last night I heard on NPR that the police took a baby away from a Guatemalan mother who was breastfeeding her infant. They deported her, the baby (an American citizen) they kept here. I will pray that this insanity ends soon. There is so much insanity these days. Another insane commercial holiday looms---what are we thinking? Is anyone thinking? Sometimes it is almost unbearable to live in a culture whose concern is primarily "getting" and "having" more and more stuff.

I can't get the image of the man on the train, folding and refolding his hands, out of my mind. It is almost like the weaving of the fates--the perpetual folding, the neverending wringing of the hands--I imagine this is exactly what God does (metaphorically) as he/she/whatever, unnameable, watches the chaos below.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

pseudo-random numbers

for allan smithee (not his real name)

Yesterday the 338 was rerouted at Lamar and 29th because of a 'hostage situation.' (One man, fending off the authorities in a gunshop--can one hold oneself hostage?)

The wind started blowing today; we headed out to walk the dog because the leaves were doing their best impression of the Shelley poem, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, yellow and black and pale, and hectic red--a pestilence stricken multitude... possibly very poorly paraphrased, and I always confuse that poem with Shakespeare's sonnet about "bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang"...pestilence stricken multitudes. See?

She asks me: Who will take care of me when you are an angel?

I respond that I am very far away from being an angel.

But tonight the wind blows and the clouds move like the dead, soooo slowly. I imagine infinite layers into space, each moving exponentially slower than the one below, and suddenly I have lived an entire life, and I wonder, have I done what I came here to do?

perhaps I have forgotten what that was...

UPS delivers about 13 million packages and documents a day. If 1/100 of a percent (.0001) are lost, thats 1300 packages a day.

And then a perennial favorite:

Jilted by Sweden, Feted by Norway, Mathematics Finally Gets Its Due