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Showing posts from February, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

That summer day, the Gingerbread Man came home with a bag full of goldfish.

"For the pond," he said. Calling this water hole a pond is a bit generous. But there it is, surrounded by moss and ferns and springs, and you love it.

That summer you volunteered to take the compost out to the compost pile, just so you could head to the pond afterward. There was something magical about the sleek, orange bodies sliding in and out among the water plants, and the single frog who kept them company, hiding under fronds of ferns. You would hear the plop as he leaped into the water if you came too close.

By summer's end, only one fish remained. The others were surely victim to fisher cats or raccoons, or maybe even a fox. You named the sole fish Angst, and made a home for him in a goldfish bowl. His fishy antics kept you company all winter. You sat in the armchair on one side of the television, and he swished around in his bowl on the other side. Though you couldn't see him, you cou…

Perfect Days

The groundhog brings you surprise tickets to see an open rehearsal of the Boston Symphony. The Gingerbread Man takes the day off, and the two of you drive into Boston. After a mad dash to Symphony Hall, you sit in the midst of its splendor, amazed at the sound that comes from the stage. Amazed that a conductor can distinguish among so many threads of sound. Amazed that a composer could hear these things in his mind, then write it all down in a code that you can't even begin to understand--writing it down before it flits off and away.

The sound is so full and so rich, it is nearly tangible, as if you could slice it like cheesecake and ingest it. You watch the conductor, his movements, the response of the musicians. You look up at the windows, the statues in alcoves, the lighting, the seats--all while the music lifts you and carries you around. The musicians pause several times, as the conductor takes them through a few measures, over and over again, until they're perfect.

The m…