Monday, January 25, 2010

And the birds sing

It was suggested to me recently that blog was an elision of blurb log. While I was mulling this over, another friend told me authoritatively that it was web log.

The internet obviously extends everywhere and catches people and objects. A web is more aesthetically pleasing but has sticky fronds. It reminds me of: “‘Will you walk into my parlour’ said the spider to the fly.”

When you come into my parlour, there will be no small talk but there will be lots of stories:
A friend’s very young grandson neglected to say thank you. His mother asked: “What do you say?” To which came the enthusiastic reply: “Amen.”

My recent piano tuner plays the cello. About three times a year the state of the world, either his own world or the world at large, requires of him that he go out into the streets and play. Most recently he attracted a young man who happened to have a violin in his backpack. The two of them played to an appreciative audience for some two hours and people bought them cups of hot chocolate.
A friend recently visited with her daughter, who last week was a baby and now is a toddler. Three steps and plonk, unless her mother was at the end of the plonk, where she took five steps. Her greatest delight was to hold her mother’s fingers and run at full tilt across the carpet.

Another friend brought a matchstick sized goldfinch she had rescued from the road. She sat there patiently scooping canary soft food into an ever hungry mouth.

I notice all my stories are on the positive side. I am not mentioning my concern at the sluggishness of my peristaltic activity nor that yet again, and I mean yet again, mucus has blocked my catheter, which necessitates that it be removed and another one inserted.
Am I failing to mention these details out of maidenly (at nearly 71) modesty? Or because of a life long habit of protecting people and taking responsibility (“Human kind cannot bear very much reality”) or because news these days has to be immediate and sensational and repeated problems are neither immediate or sensational.

There are two intractable facts: Paul has now been dead longer than he was ever alive and I have now been battling through the secondary progressive stage of multiple sclerosis for nearly 25 years. Years ago, I wrote of grief:
“It is a life lived continuously
in a minor key,
a lingering bass note
endlessly sustained.
On this minor bass note (timpani, trombone, double bass) I have to counterpoint a musical structure from the higher register (woodwind, baroque trumpet and the upper strings). Some days I manage very well, especially if it’s sunny and I have sat out under my cherry tree: others, I manage only a short piccolo note.

Recently I wrote a poem:
“Sleeping or waking,
the nightmare remains:
yet a sparrow is busily
feeding her young
and a blackbird is singing.”

Somewhere, anywhere, at any time,
a person is being born.
Somewhere, anywhere, at any time,
a person is dying.
The birds sing.

When you visit me, I will try to concentrate on the singing birds.

Do come again; there will be no cucumber sandwiches nor bone china for the cups of tea. But there will be talk.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice piece of writing Diana, thank you. I've been wanting to tell you i've been having piano lessons for the last month or so. I'm thrilled and delighted: it's something i've wanted to do all my life. George and I share the same piano teacher. I do parent help at his school on a Monday morning, and then go to the hall to have my piano lesson :) Looking forward to lessons recommencing with the school term, and to having a home and getting our new (old) piano out of storage so we can practise. Love Vivx