Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Catching Up, Getting Behind, Pope Benedict XVI, and Flowers
I'm just going to write - I'm not going to compose, I'm not going to orchestrate, I'm not going to swirl a stick in the sand to make a picture. Just going to hit the keys.
Last week we took some days and went to the beach, to Legoland, just D and I and the kids. We had fun - D and I were surprised at the kids' getting along that evening in our one hotel room. A sheer miracle. We had thought, last time out, that we'd always have to get two rooms. They managed to pull it off without driving us off the balcony, lemming-style. The weather was perfect - sunny, a cool breeze, near-cloudless. The entire time we were out there, we lived in a lovely bubble of ignorant bliss - we heard no news, we didn't watch any television other than some wrestling cartoon (Mucha Lucha) on Cartoon Network (I think), we read no newspapers, the radio was off. Nobody died, nobody cheated, nobody lied, nobody bombed any countries, no insurgents bombed themselves and/or others, no natural disasters happened, no calamities whatsoever, no robberies, no murders, no illegal trades of stock, no governmental errors, no negligence, no major mergers, no major closings, no layoffs, no shocking drops in the DOW.
I got behind in my grading though. I have a lot of catching up to do. But the pain is worth those days, a bunch of happy moments sitting side-by-side.
We took a walk on the beach in the morning, A, M, and I, seagulls accompanying us along with the roar of the ocean, the roar of other travelers on the road, a breeze that called for a kite, our own voices. M didn't like the sand in her shoes but A held her hand while I took off her shoe and emptied sand. A repeating process nobody minded. We talked to a stranger who'd set himself on a folding chair and cradled a thermos of coffee while watching the waves. He answered our questions about the birds on the sand and about the best places to walk. He smiled and went back to his watching.
We continued our walk until it was time to get to Legoland. Our time there in the amusement park was equally slow - we hardly hit any of the expected rides. Both days were were there, we lingered, playing in the open spaces and in the fountains when we could. There just wasn't any rush.
When it came time to leave each day, we tumbled into the car willingly, looking forward to a dinner, a drink of soda, a little bit of shopping. The ride home at last was quiet, the boys listening to their cd's and M sleeping. On Sunday, D and I agreed, we can't wait for summer.
Today, M and I watched the announcement of the new Pope, il nuevo Papa. We listened to those bells and I could almost feel the thrill of being there. I was reminded of my mother's absence - my sister called and reminded me of what Mom would be saying on the phone to us, "Are you watching?" She loved Pope John Paul II - as a Mexican woman, she had a special relationship with the Catholic church. Sure, she disagreed with some of the ideas, but in her heart where it mattered, she loved the church. So...yeah, she'd have been watching. We'd have been over at her place.
I went to the store and still have bags of food waiting to be put away. M is sleeping on the couch - the house is quiet, quiet. More happy moments.
You know, if you set those moments of happiness next to each other on a field, picture them looking like flowers, planted all over the place in rows or not, and fly upwards, pulling away like a bird, eventually the moments will all blend together into a single, hardly uninterrupted carpet of color. I think of impressionist paintings or that newfangled computer thing where you have an image, a portrait of a person, that's actually made up of thousands of thumbnails of individual pictures. It's the little things, the single moments...eventually they'll create a harmonious flow of nothing but joy.