Posts tagged Rome
I’ve been engrossed in Brueggemann on the Old Testament in my spare time this summer, and it’s been fascinating. I’m enthralled by the way the world works, which is, a dialectical, dialogical, not at all logical “Way the World Works” kind of way; comforting assertions that life is just as strange and interesting as it seems.
I’ve been thinking, too, about J. K. Rowling, and how she was actually perhaps right to make Harry Potter all about love and friendship and so on. It is a very strange thing, when you consider it, especially from a continent away: Why do humans become so attached to other human beings? We’re all just little human beans, not too unique or kind, but we wrap ourselves around each other in the funniest ways. I think it’s good.
When he saw the site of a bombed-out police building in mid-October 1947, he noted that all the clocks showed the exact time that the bomb went off: “All the clocks stopped at six o’clock,” and then added, “This could be the name of a novel.”
Nili Scharf Gold in Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel’s National Poet
My father built over me a worry big as a shipyard
and I left it once, before I was finished
and he remained there with his big, empty worry
Yehuda Amichai, from “Autobiography, 1952”
Yehuda Amichai’s language — citational, autobiographical, and all metaphor — sticks with me; I love it a lot.
I feel a little justified or vindicated in my hobbies ’cause both my grandfathers are serious amateur photographers. It’s in my blood: trees, photographs, and cities. Last time I was in Texas, I took this picture from the pile of things to trash. My mother’s father took it, at Puget Sound in the fifties or sixties or seventies. It’s so strange: Seattle is somewhere I go and love now, and I never pictured him there, but it looks exactly like a picture I’d take.
When I got home this summer, that watercolor was on my pillow. “Oh, yes — ” my mother said, “that was at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and I kept looking at it and thinking I knew where it was, and Stacy said, ‘that’s the Spanish Steps!’ So I decided to get it for you. I hope it’s okay.” She didn’t know I’d spent several nights and afternoons on the Steps, thinking and praying and watching. I love the Spagna metro escalator very much.
So those two prints sit by each other on my bookshelf and desk, tying up Houston and Rome and Seattle.
Today Sarah quoted Sheila Hati at me: all of these people, she summarized, are so different and so interesting but observing them doesn’t tell me how I should be, because all their characteristics fit them so perfectly, and they are them.
I am an amalgam, too; I’m not like you. From Philadelphia nominally, but I think of myself as Texas and Minnesota and maybe Vancouver, and I am coffee in Austin and the green drives of Philadelphia and even bookstores in St. Louis and always the best at finding somewhere good to eat, drink, and read; and I am being, everywhere.