The crystals of sand pass through the hourglass one at a time. slowly drifting through the funnel connecting the top spout with the bottom one. There is a gentle rush of the crystals as they pass through the spout. Standing still is what they do when they reach the bottom having made the journey until their world is turned upside down and its outside participants are engaged in a game that pits their knowledge of language against the clock.
The topic of Cleveland has come up a little bit in my travels through New England in the past month. At a local retreat, the speaker asked if anyone was from Cleveland. I said I was. Following his talk on his life, he mentioned that we are all made for a purpose. He asked what the function of families held, the function of the universe and he even mentioned what is the function of ducks. I said their role was to quack. Thus a quick way to call myself a Cleveland Quacker who likes to speak what others have said. My cousin married a fellow from Cleveland and when I was at their reception, I sat with a bunch of people from Cleveland, Ohio. It is a very critical area since that is where I originated on the Columbus day back in 1962. It is also the town where I learned to love to eat noodles which is still one of my passions to love pasta. And it is where I learned to understand at an older age the way the football game is played with four downs for each possession of the ball. Noodles are a cool invention of food that are flat and they hold their shape no matter how much boiling happens in the water. It is also a good way to get indoctrinated into the world of food. To have a german nana serve me the food I never saw with my adult eyes but have been told the story numerous times. Our origins are always important places that can connect us to stories told at a sermon or sitting around a table with family and friends. Go Cleveland Browns which are the same color as ducks-brown!!!!
A change of pace and perspective gives one a better view of ones surroundings. While waiting for the use of the internet computers at the Burroughs/Saden Library in Bridgeport, I sat in a seat-part of a row of blue seats. The area where people usually sit was roped off with yellow tape due to a peeling ceiling. When I looked across the room, I saw the bronze doors surrounded by the stained wood. It brought my mind back to the many times that I have been at the Grand Central station with its bronze doors and the beauty that surround the many aspects of the station. A different view to attain from looking at one of the gems of the city which I am pleased to be a part of.
Writing on the topic of vacations is the suggested topic for the workshop this week. I have taken many a trip into the city of New York to do some sight seeing at area museums or just to have a bite of something to eat with my cousins and family. The city of New York is a bustling place with tall buildings of glass windows, concrete walls and many projects that are under construction. The city has a constant influx of people in and out of it-just like the blood vessels carry the oxygen and nutrients to our bodies while removing the impurities from it. The heart of our bodies is just like the Grand Central station bringing with it the people into the heart of the city.
As I remember some of the thanksgivings at my cousin's apartment in the city, I see the sideboard table with the white linen on it and the bowls of hot stuffing and oyster and turkey dressings, the green bean casserole with almonds and the freshly sliced turkey with the aromas raising from each bowl. The tables that we used were borrowed from a local church to fit all of us around it and gave us a sense of a community and family. A good way to gather after not having been around for a while to catch up on the news of what went on during that year.
This past weekend, I spent the time with the same cousins and family at a reception celebrating Kate and Williams recent marriage in Italy. It was a good opportunity to say hi and make some deeper connections with those that I spent a week with in December 2003 with Kate and Seiji. It was easier this time to talk to and reflect on life with Bill Reed and with Prim and Derek since in the last few years have gained an understanding into people's lives a little better. It has been time to reflect on the hurts that some people go through and the time to realize that all moments in life are precious. When I look into the lives of my cousin Bruce and his family and realize that it was through the grace of God that he was spared a tragedy when he had to escape the twin towers on Sept 11th to safety. And as I was leaving to go back to the bus/train station to go to Connecticut, Bruce played a video clip from his cell phone of his daughter, Izzy, playing on the piano of his wife singing "They are playing our song, they are playing our song. On the bottom of that tape was inscribed Sept 11,2006 at 11:43am. It was a simple yet profound words spoken by a 4 year old-the meaning that I still try to uncover. It could be that in our consciences even when young , a message comes forth that state that somehow, those who lost their life through heroic efforts such as the firefighters and police that my cousin passed that sunny tuesday morning in a darkened pit of stairwells in a building under collapse had in a way reached my cousin, Izzy , who somehow grasped the importance of life and in a way shares it with others. Showing that the lives lost that day are not in vain. That it acted as a way of a temporary heart allowed life to flow its course to bring life into others. So thanks to the change of scenery this morning that caused me to look into the doors at the library in a new way and to begin to connect some random thoughts of family and life that are not so random after all.