Fourth Wall

Friday, September 09, 2005

Morning in the Garden

Genevieve drinks out of the birdbath, with Spanish Lavender in the background.

My "Handel" climbing rose.

A sparse, but pretty, border planting with a yellow rose, a lily, blue catmint and red salvia.

Clockflowers climb over what was once the gate to our vegetable garden.

I'm too lazy to go downstairs and look up this plant.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Few Thoughts

We get Newsweek, not because we read it, but because a family friend was selling subscriptions to raise money for her school. I flipped through it last night and came across a full-page photograph from which I have not yet recovered: the most private moment of man's life published for everyone to see in the photograph of a New Orleans woman dying. She is cradled in another's arms--it isn't clear if her comforter is a man or a woman--who is praying the rosary over her. The crucifix hangs in the air. The rosary is a prayer of contemplation on the life of Christ-- its joys and sorrows. To see Christ on the cross held in the gaze of a woman dying is a reminder of the pain that life can bring, as well as of the rejoicing at dawn. I would rather, however, have had the photographer leave her final gaze to the privacy of memory.

When my mother mentioned Kelly's friends and family, I was not concerned for them (they are, on the whole, affluent and white)-- but concern for Kelly filled my heart and the name "Ulvhild" was on my lips. It was hard enough to lose her to her depression when she committed suicide last fall, but the thought of her disturbed grave took me to Lavrans, in Sigrid Undset's book, overcome with grief as he watches the church that housed his daughter's grave collapse in flames. "Grieve not for her," says the Priest, "for she has not lost her spiritual home tonight, as we have." It was all I could do not to say her name--not Kelly, but Ulvhild.