Tuesday, November 25, 2003



Nothing makes you start thinking about time like the shockingly peaceful aftermath of a dervish young granddaughter, when you find gingko leaves on the desk, acorns in the corners, beanbags behind the stove, weeds in the vase, persimmons on the chair, interesting seeds and twigs everywhere.

Took that thinking with me on the train to the city this morning and realized looking out the window into the mist of the rainy day swirling by how much time has passed in my own life, born before WWII and the bomb, when Japan became the enemy; milk and bread were delivered by horse cart when I was a boy (many tales there), and all us young kids had jobs of our own: delivering papers before dawn in howling winters of upstate NY (many tales there too) or sweeping leaves off sidewalks or shoveling snow or delivering groceries or stacking mom & pop store shelves---we had no tv till I was 12 or so, we listened to radio and what a thrill it was---

Remembered that in high school I studied Latin and Spanish, then Mandarin Chinese in the military, later Russian and Japanese and smatterings of other languages as I made my ways around the world (Americans today are pretty much monolingual and mononational), yet in college I remember being amazed at seeing a Xerox machine on tv, and now computers and cell phones, practically constant progress---we have advanced so far in so many ways, yet fallen behind in so many others---

Remembered my own great grandmother, a tiny white-haired lady sitting in the sun on the porch with me at her feet when I was about 7 and she was 100, talking about before there were automobiles. She had been born before the Civil War, was sixteen when Lincoln was assassinated, lived through the two big 20th-century wars, heard of the A-bomb, and reaches all the way to me here today. How I wish I could talk to her now!

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