Saturday, February 27, 2010

Where's my other half?

What is it about gloves and sunglasses—the two personal attachments that won't stay attached to me long enough to get through a complete season without losing them? The image above chronicles how I started this winter season with only half-pairs of gloves. I bought more and the latest half-pair is below, its other half somewhere on the streets of NYC.

While out walking yesterday, back on the streets of Boston, I wore one dark green glove on my right hand and the light green one (above) on the other. I dropped a letter in the mailbox, and a quick trip to the bank and poof! I'd lost another one. I retraced my steps and found it. The picture below chronicles what I saw a few moments later: someone else's lost half weeping for its owner on the pavement—I'm not alone in this syndrome.

Being the keeper of these one-handed sets of gloves got me thinking about a Yiddish saying I read a few days ago, "Gott shtruft nisht mit beide hendt," or "God does not punish with both hands." There's always something to be learned, even from the harshest of circumstances. The challenge while being in the middle of one is to hope that time will pass quickly enough so that I'll see the silver lining to this moment's apparent adversity.

Some describe romantic pairings as though the two people "fit like a glove." But even those seeming "beshert" or destined couplings can fall apart and we lose our other half. Plato's Symposium waxes on the story that the Gods' impatience with man — supposedly in our original state thought to be paired beings: half man and half woman, or two women, or two men— exacted on us all the punishment to be split in half, so that we would spend our lives in search of our other half. My stash of unpaired gloves and earrings remind me—if I let them—that I was once—in this lifetime or another one—part of a pair, and might be so again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From the Grand to the gruesome . . . I love New York

Once again on a very quick trip down to the city to visit with both of my sons, I was out walking and looking and looking and looking. Some day I'd like to spend a full year here getting deeper into Manhattan, but for now I'm just an occasional visitor. From the walk to a Bikram studio in the Bronx to mid town East side and ambling through Times Square, it continues to fascinate and to stimulate and fray the nerves simultaneously.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ice spiders crawl us closer to spring . . . I hope

Out walking yesterday, once again I found the ice formations on the Charles to be totally new. At first what appeared to be a pure uninterrupted white snow blanket became on closer examination a continuous surface of surprises.
What caught my eye the most was the small circular spots of water extending out into the snow- covered surface in a spider-like crawling motion. Crawling its way towards warmer weather and the promise of spring. I remember 50 years ago as a young girl ice skating on Felsmere Pond in Malden or on the lake in Mount Hood in Melrose or the pond behind the first Chestnut Hill Mall, but now nothing freezes over; no one skates on local ponds and every day I walk across the Mass Ave bridge, I want to walk across the ice formation but know it's too thin or I'm too scared to find out. I remember one year an MIT pledger to a fraternity was sent across the icy river and drowned. Just like standing at great heights there is a compelling impulse which goes against all sense of safety and reason that calls to me to jump, so, too, there is some ice creature, sulking and trapped beneath the still white coldness that calls to me with an equal haunting invitation to step onto its immense expanse, to play with it. But I keep walking. The words "ice spiders" crawling through my mind long enough for me to remember to write about it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Gremlins on Boylston St. . . .Ugly faces but no traces of snow!

When the parking ban advisary from the Mayor's office arrived as a text message on my cell phone last night, I was sure I'd be hunkering down for the day today after parking my car in one of the local lots that allows Boston residents to park for one dollar during snow emergencies.

Walking back home, I saw these Gremlin entities staring down at me from their granite heights on the Berklee College of Music corner building. The media is filled with snow gremlins who tell us to stay home and sometimes their fearful warnings are accurate. Today turned out to be just another cold New England winter day only I was able to cancel all my appointments, and do my hunkering even without the snow. Nice!