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, October 23, 2006


The Iglesia Bautista Hispana next door to me has been doing some major sprucing up in the last few weeks. The Tiffany Studio window broken last year in a petty robbery was recently replaced. A bit garish compared to the original, but better than a piece of plywood. The Pearl Street side of the parking lot got a tall black fence, the kind that's supposed to look like cast iron but is really aluminum. Again, a lack of exquisite sensibility to historical correctness, but not too bad.

The other day, I noticed a truck pulled up to the church, the double doors flung open, and a long hose snaked into the building. Carpet cleaning?

The building closest to me, the rectory, got a new roof, a new front door, and had its chimneys rebuilt. The roofers seemed to be laying the shingles from the top down. If I knew anything about roofs, I'd say they were doing it backwards, but I don't, so I won't. And the precious historical chimney bricks were flung off the roof onto a tarp before being hauled up again and reused. Ouch! But the roof probably won't leak for a while at least, and maybe the squirrels have found a different place to live.

The most recent project has been painting the exterior of the rectory. The badly peeling, mucky pinkish beige clapboards have been scraped and sprayed and brushed with Sherwin Williams paint by Garcia's Painting Co. They're painting in the rain and slapping paint over damaged trim, but still. It looks a hell of a lot better than before.

The trim color is called "Reynard." I don't know what the yellow is called. The two colors together remind me of a butternut squash. Or autumn leaves. With all the warm brick and brownstone and foliage on the street, I think the effect is nice. Colorful, anyway.


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