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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Que Sera, Sera

An accident has the effect of making you hyper-aware of danger, for a while at least. Getting smashed into last month by a speeding, wildly out-of-control car has turned me into something of a worrywart. The day after my accident, I was supposed to be at a party in the hills, forty miles from home. It was a big bash for a high school friend, with live music, plenty of good food, and people I like and don't get to see very often. With Trusty the Toyota totalled, I would be driving the Mercedes. The thought of risking my precious antique car on twisty mountain roads, in the pitch dark, with black ice was giving me nightmares. I briefly considered attending another party I'd had to turn down because of the first one. This was a dinner party followed by a friendly Scrabble competition, and was only a couple of miles away. I ended up staying home.

Driving up to Maine and then down to New York last weekend, with all the bad weather predicted, was also making me a little nervous. But the car wouldn't be mine and I wouldn't be driving, so I decided to relax. In fact, the trip to Maine and the trip down to NYC was without incident, despite horrible driving conditions. Coming back from NYC yesterday, the sun was shining and the roads dry.

Of course, if something's going to happen, it's going to happen no matter what. As we were zipping merrily along, a huge sheet of ice--perhaps a yard wide and twice as long--sheared off the top of a truck in front of us and slammed into our windshield, spattering us with glass. For a long moment, we each saw the deadly projectile coming at us in slow motion, twisting horribly. Then--BAM!

By freaky coincidence, we were very near the place from which the car had been rented. I'd snapped pictures of the truck and of the driver, and gotten the license plate number. We drove to the location and traded our crippled beast for a fresh one. The mechanics of reporting the accident took over, and we put our shock on hold. Periodically throughout the rest of the day, however, I'd see that sheet of ice coming at me, and shudder.

Last week, three people were found murdered in their own apartment around the corner from me. A case of domestic violence, apparently. The husband had left a note next to the bodies, apologizing for what he'd done. I guess you can't run from your fate. Or stay home and hide from it, either. I'm all done worrying about lurking danger, I've decided. Que sera, sera.

White Christmas

I love miniature things, so I surprised myself by finding all the NYC Christmas window dioramas rather boring. Am I getting old and jaded? The period vignettes in Lord and Taylor's were beautifully done, I have to admit. Each window celebrated one sense--"taste" or "touch," for example. The craftsmanship and the detail were astounding, but...

...I much preferred the elegant mannequins in gossamer ivory designer gowns. That's my idea of a white Christmas.

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