Tuesday, July 04, 2006
An (Un)Eventful, (Un)American Celebration.
The poetic embrace like the carnal
while it endures
forbids all lapse into the miseries of the world.
I enjoy fireworks for two reasons:
1) the rattling of one's ribcage...the mimesis of death, the feeling of sound...is both mildly terrifying and exhilerating...
2) i don't like the way the colorful, lighted display itself looks, so much as the smoke-spiders that linger in the air after the flames have extinguished...)
Happy Independence Day, and all that jazz. My July 4th was blissfully both uneventful and lucrative. I spent the night sitting in a delicious house, set a couple blocks off the river downtown, admiring the grainy wood floors and antique light fixtures of every room. I watched the sunset, and twilight set in, feeling the house's personality out. It's the kind with such a lack of "yard" that one feels completely enclosed inside of a birch tree when in the house; branches and vines brush every thick-glass window, scattering light. My little charge was a (mostly) sleeping 10-month-old girl: Sophie. When the fireworks began assaulting the house, she blinked her brown eyes at me, rolled around and "Ugh-ughed" until I swung her up on one hip and did a walking-tour of the house. She quieted, then drifted off again.
Between exploring the house and watching the baby, I finished reading Black Dog of Fate, Peter Balakian's memoir. He is of Armenian descent, and the book vividly captures his suburban childhood, his poetic conquests in academia, and then a crashing awareness of the Armenian genocide. He got inside my head and spoke. When I finished it (I have spent the better part of (all of) today reading the last half of the book), I felt startled. Also, I felt his person absent. That, in many ways, is the measure of a good book: if you miss the narrator, the way you would miss your closest confidant upon a sudden, total absence.
With the booming fireworks, the startled baby, the sensuous house, and the closing book, I feel I have had an eventful and satisfying holiday, if not a traditional one.