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, December 27, 2007

Woodstock Chime

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a wind chime, carefully selected by my daughter, Cordelia. It's a top-of-the-line Woodstock Gregorian® alto chime. I've already got a couple of wind chimes on my front porch, but this one is special.

Woodstock chimes, created by professional musician Garry Kvistad, are precision-tuned to various scales. Each note is pure and beautiful. They don't simply jangle in the wind, but seem rather to be playing a little song.

In nice weather I spend many an afternoon on my wide front porch, sitting on the glider as I read, eat, or visit, listening to a pair of rather boisterous chimes. So I decided my new gift should hang in the back of the house, where it could be heard from the kitchen or loft. Amir, who's extremely agile, hung it from the soffit outside of the window behind my desk. With the window closed, it's a sweet and haunting faraway song. In breezy warmer weather, when I can open the window, the music will be pleasanter still.

In previous summers, I listened to the drunks in the park and the trash-talking adolescents on the basketball court behind me as I worked. Recently the Parks Department has been making improvements, and perhaps by next summer the new paving and plantings and the operational fountain will encourage a politer crowd. Birdsong, the plashing of the fountain, and these Gregorian alto chimes may be all that I hear. Well, I can always hope.

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