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.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I Had for Lunch Today: Toast

My father was one of those laconic Yankees who would sometimes go for the whole day, or for several days, without saying much more around the house than "ayup" a couple of times. He was almost fifty when I was born, and I think he was terrified of us kids. I overheard my mother say once that when she was expecting me, he didn't tell any of his buddies, out of sheer embarassment at getting her pregnant at such an age.

Needless to say, he didn't know how to "relate" to little girls. One of the few memories I have of my father is of him tossing numbers at me for me to add--or subtract--in my head. 731...1432...598...7641. I can still add faster in my head than most people can using a calculator.

Sometimes in the morning--on weekends, since on workdays he was gone long before we were up and around--he would cut my toast for me. He'd ask how many pieces I wanted, and with a couple of cuts, there it would be. Three or four or five or six pieces, all the same size! I must have been pretty tiny, because it always seemed magical that he could make the number of pieces come out right, and so neat. My first lesson in geometry.

I never eat a piece of toast without thinking of my father. And I never cut it in the same number of pieces twice in a row.
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Anonymous Leslie said...

Thanks, sister.

10:21 AM  

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