Friday, December 10, 2010

Little Rock 15.2.2005: Smudge of Dawn, Magic in the Everyday

As I watched the dawn today--that first, indeterminate maybe-you're-imagining-it smudge of light across the eastern horizon, I thought: no one will ever be able to take this experience from me.  It's now inside me, a snapshot enshrined in my heart.  It's mine.  The dawn has become Bill.  Morning becomes a human heart.  That old corny verse of Sara Teasdale about slipping a coin into the heart's treasury turns out to be true: time cannot take nor a thief purloin the safe-kept memory of a lovely thing.

And as I write this, I look up to see under the skylight a little sepia postcard of Charles Bridge I bought in Prague, on the bridge.  It was a glorious summer morning before the throngs of (other) tourists were there, the city mystical from the water. 

The postcard is framed in a square metal frame.  Normally, the surface of the metal is flat, uninteresting.  Today, some trick of light throws it into flame.  It turns out to have a circle embedded in it, a perfectly round set of concentric ridges now turned silver-yellow in the light.  Such magic in the everyday, all too often hidden from us.  Soon the flame will recede to normalcy and become plebian tin.

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