Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If I Could Have,

I would have liked to have been in one of the villages Jesus visited. Not to witness miracles or anything, I haven't cared about those since I was a child, but to have seen for myself how he looked, seen the light in his eyes, heard the timbre of his voice as he spoke to people, gathered his followers. Heard for myself what he talked about when he talked about love, to paraphrase Raymond Carver.  I like to think I would have trusted him, maybe followed him to his next stop, maybe everywhere he went. I would have liked being there, with the man in sandals, before all the hoopla started.

Did you hear that Joshua Bell story? He's a genius violinist-American, young, ordinary-looking. They (Washington Post reporters) got him to play Bach cantatas in a D.C. subway station for 45 minutes, and only a few people stopped to listen to him. There were children who were interested in what he was up to and had to be dragged away by busy parents, but not many adults took a music break. Mr. Bell earned $32 playing in the subway that day. Not bad for a busker. Why didn't more people stop, I wonder? Have you heard him play his three million dollar and change violin? Listen to him on Spotify.

I would have liked to have been there, in that subway, and been someone who stayed to listen. Be one of the ones who dropped my plans for the moment and listened for as long as he played-had myself a Joshua Bell plays Johann Sebastian Bach break. Just like I hope I would have listened to Jesus-gotten him a drink of well-water, offered him a place to stay, if he needed one, and I had a place to offer.

I like to think about what I might have done given this, given that. Even if I usually decide that I'd have made good choices, I really don't know, of course. I don't even know if I'd notice when something important came up. But I'm trying to pay attention.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just the Three of Us

The night before my brother Robert flew in from Philadelphia, I said to Drago, the brother I live with, "It will be the first time it has been just the three of us." Drago said, "Well, it is just the three of us." I don't know if I gulped, or if my jaw dropped, or even if my expression changed, but I was taken aback.  I'd been mulling over things differently-that Robert's wife wasn't coming this time, because she's been helping their daughter with her new baby girl, that there had been all combinations of people in our family together for visits, but that, going back as far as I could remember, Drago, Robert and I had never been just us.  Mom, Dad, and our youngest brother Ric, have all died-Mom in 2006, Ric in 2008, and Dad in 2010. Hellava decade, from our small, immediate family perspective.  So, there it was again, while chatting with my brother over chicken, salad, and baked potatoes. Loss. We taste loss so many times, don't we? And, it comes to us flavored differently each time, doesn't it?

Nonnie, Drago and Robert

But, enough of that! Our visit rocked. Dining out, cooking in, walking the pier, a bit of shopping, watching the Borgias, yoga, reading our various books in various recliners, fine talks about the good, the bad, the stupid, and kittens! A stray cat had 5 kittens in our back yard. Drago, who got to discover them (wish it had been me) is happy about it but trying to stay detached,  and I'm a fool in love; a complete idiot. We did promise Robert, the most concerned bird lover of our threesome, that we'd get them adopted so that they'd be house cats-Robert's gone back to Philly, but we'll keep our promise. They are tiny, and we don't have to do anything responsible yet, so I'm helping the mother cat mother them. I go out there to pet them every so often so that they will be used to human touch and will be easily adopted. Good thinking, there, right? Drago fixed up a shelter for them, and I know they used it during a fierce thunderstorm yesterday (I checked) and I put food out because it seems I can't help myself. I could go on and on, but I won't. Kittens are all over the damn place on the internet, aren't they? People are probably sick of hearing about them or seeing pictures of them or watching video clips of them being almost unbearably cute. But these five are in our back yard! Kittens and brothers. I'm full-up.