A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Yesterday was the Puerto Rican Day parade in downtown Springfield, to be followed next weekend by a festival in Riverfront Park. A couple of years ago, the festival itself was held in Court Square, smack in the center of downtown, but it was very crowded and chaotic. Since that time, the Square has been completely renovated, and would only be damaged by hordes of people swarming over the lovely new lawn.

Too bad for Taz, because I have never seen so much dropped food as at that festival in 2004. Whole turkey drumsticks with only one or two bites out, shish kebabs, hunks of chicken, hot dogs....Taz zigzagged frenetically all over the Square, snatching meat from the ground. A dog's fantasy come true. I think we visited six times over the course of two days.

So yesterday, I wandered over to Main Street on our Sunday afternoon walk to see what was what this year. The parade had ended at Boland Way, a block before Court Square. It was long over, and the street was pretty deserted. The sun was shining, the plaza in front of Sovereign Bank was beautiful with its sculpture and flowers, the buildings around the Square looked elegant. The bronze lion's-head fountain has been repaired, the gazebo and bus shelter are works of art.

Too bad so much trash was blowing around, ruining the effect of the architecture and landscaping. On the Sovereign Bank corner, where a trash barrel should be, are about eight dispensers for those tacky free papers advertising homes, cars, and jobs. Discarded papers from these dispensers comprised a good part of the litter.

On the perfect turf of Court Square, someone had dumped garbage....rotting food, greasy plastic bags, styrofoam containers. What kind of sociopathic assholes do this? And what can we do about it when our ethics prevents us from picking them off with a sniper rifle from the roof of the Sovereign Bank?


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