Sunday, September 28, 2008

FIELD NOTES: “Please stay away from the snapping turtles”...

...are the words printed in marker on the copy paper sign posted at the entrance road in Harrybrooke. “No colords” are the sprayed words that had to be scrubbed off the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile sign on the exit road in Harrybrooke. Cautionary, incendiary, directional, instructive, restrictive, prophetic…..signs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

FIELD NOTES: There is a regatta and sprint...

Sunday morning through the car window

...that I happen upon this Sunday morning. A small sign at the end of the road tells me so. The weather is as crisp as a fresh Macoun. Spectators are walking along the road from the designated parking areas to the site of the local rowing center on the riverbank of the Housatonic. There are men and women comfortably dressed in shorts and windbreakers wearing expressions of delighted anticipation and I am oddly envious, wishing I could join them even though I am not acquainted with any rowers in the meet. On my drive here, I notice many joggers and cyclists earnestly progressing along the roadside. Leisure, discretionary and purposeful leisure, is all around me. There was a time when I sped along this road each Sunday morning with neatly-dressed children seat-belted in, hurrying to church, hurrying to set up my Sunday school classroom, often questioning the joggers and cyclists and boaters for putting their bodies before their souls even though I already had a pile of weekly sale flyers from the morning paper stacked on the seat next to me with thoughts of the afternoon schedule diluting the intent of where I was going before I even got there. But today I am driving my oldest son to the hospital to complete his month-long course of daily IV antibiotics and, like the cinematic orphan wistfully gazing into an inviting cafĂ© window, I am resigned, my consciousness harboring the thought that leisure...(and money)...(and worship)...are most enjoyable when they are discretionary and purposeful. In the direction of my peripheral vision I say out loud, “I want to be a part of that; I must have more of that in my life…” There is life inside the car and I am suddenly aware that I am driving right through the point of it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

FIELD NOTES: In the middle of the night, Hanna and Harrybrooke were wed...

Hurricane season

...and late in the afternoon I went to their reception only to find the green groom still engorged, glistening under the waters that she had poured out over him with no restraint, her rain of passion turning him into an enormous puddle. I could not complete the mile loop and instead walked back and forth avoiding, almost with a sense of embarrassment, the post-coital pond where sky and land had made love with such ferocity. Pent up and bent on fulfilling my two miles, I headed for the bridge. I could hear the Still River roaring uncharacteristically, then saw it tumbling all over itself under the grate, foaming and spitting and thrashing as I quietly made my way out to the road. The road, now closed to through traffic, used to be the main route for commuters looking for a path of least resistance. It felt peculiar walking where automobiles once dominated and as I crossed over a defunct bridge back to my car, I noticed how the trees and weeds and grasses had narrowed it, vigorously reclaiming their territory, thin green blades determined enough to break open the black asphalt and stand in witness: “I, Hanna, take you, Harrybrooke…”

Monday, September 1, 2008

FIELD NOTES: A hum briefly hung outside my writing window;

Labor Day, the first seconds of September, 2008
...I thought it was a bee or my garden pinwheels oddly spinning without breeze. It lasted only seconds…brrrrt…but luckily sound pulled eyes from computer screen to window screen in the very instant a hummingbird hovered at the window box. Both the bird and I were delighted and deliriously hopeful for a split-second until, as it so often happens, fascination turns to disappointment. We both returned to our quests, astutely aware of our powerful senses, but now, all the more possessive of them because the bright red geraniums in the window box were fake.