Friday, October 19, 2007


My mentor in college, Tim Muskat––a brilliant man whose company and inspiration I miss––often reminded those of us who he not only called students, but friends, that it is important to keep a list of particulars. The saying goes that the devil is in the details, but I beg to differ; it's God––if there is one––who has taken up residency in the minutiae of our lives. Everything is beautiful and magnificence can be found in the smallest of places.

And so begins my list of particulars.

Amid the browning and drying leaves which people are so anxious to clear away or stuff into noxious jack-o-lantern-shaped garbage bags, I spied a single, glorious red leaf, a deep red, as if it had lived all its green and treetop-bound days just to turn this shade and find a soft resting place on the bones of its brethren down below.

The beautiful, lavender-scented letter I received today from my friend David, who writes from the Shire-like Midwest. It ended with the line, "The message is not so cryptic, after all, if only one endeavors to learn the language."

The ladybug which landed on my wrist this afternoon, took its time crawling across my knuckle, looked up at me and flew away.

The way Duncan pops the squeaker in his Buddy when he's trying to get my attention.

The scent of grilling burgers on a patio as you walk by just as the sun has set and the sky is turning indigo.

The sound of ice rattling in the freezer ice-maker as it drops into the bucket.

My sister's catch-phrase: "Right on." She doesn't know it, but her indiscriminate use of it is indicative of her laid-back, "to each his own" attitude. She's far less judgmental than she gives herself credit for.

The long, mottled white cloud that cut across the horizon last night on my walk with Duncan. The sky above it was heavy and blue, but the sky below it was pink and yellow and the mountains under that were nothing but sharp black silhouettes. That single cloud stretched for miles and appeared as though someone had torn the edge of the edge and pasted two different pictures together, dark sandwiching the light.

The sound of snow falling late at night.

Shelves full of books, some of the pages dog-eared to mark favorite passages.

The soft weight of a cat curling on the small of your back while you sleep.


"Feelin' Good" by Nina Simone

Standing watch while your bread toasts, waiting for that moment when it springs up and you can spread the peanut butter so that it gets warm and melts.

Japanese hanging lanterns

The final line of The Great Gatsby: "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further... and one fine morning– So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back carelessly into the past."

1 comment:

Ruth said...

The ladybug wasn't looking at you. She was looking through you.