Sights and sounds

How is it possible to walk by something thousands of times and NOT SEE it?

When K and I circled Crystal Lake yesterday, we were astonished to see two gas-lit lanterns.


It seemed so impossible that we hadn’t noticed, that I went off on a riff about how easily sophisticated techniques can distress surfaces. Someone recently installing two street lights with faux paint peels seemed more plausible than our not having noticed.

In today’s walk, I actually said to my actual husband, “I stopped listening a while ago. Can you go back to the part about the hotel?”

It makes me laugh to think about. Him too. I think that probably signals something good — acceptance for starters (his boring itinerary recitations, my ADHD), but also the flexibility that long relationship with reserves of goodwill affords.

How lucky am I?

Further along, we used the Cornell bird app to identify a Northern Flicker. Besides using Siri to set timers several times a day, it’s my favorite new iPhone feature.

We saw it on top of a Cypress Street resident’s metal chimney cover. The song was throaty, distinct. The hammering must have been murder on our neighbors, that repetitive banging on the metal plate surely reverberating down the flue.

Lastly, yesterday’s celebration of my 90-year-old friend left me feeling a strange mix of melancholy and inspired. She is what you might call A BRIGHT LIGHT, the large circle of affectionate friends just one proof.

Both she and my mother were born in Brooklyn in 1933.

11 thoughts on “Sights and sounds

  1. Nancy

    As I read, I listen to a dove calling in the morning air. A crow flies by, also calling. Then I listen to your Northern Flicker and I am reminded how much I love hearing the song of the birds in the morning.
    I believe that you could have missed that lamp post, there is so much to look at. We noticed a month or so ago, while driving home from the local medical building, we noticed a ‘bell’ at the top of a post. Since then we’ve wondered about it quite a bit, same as you. Has it always been there (after all we sit at the stoplight there frequently)? We’ve wondered what it really is and so one. Then the other day, we noticed that kitty-corner across this same intersection, another ‘bell’!! What? Why didn’t we notice it when we’ve actually been thinking about the other one? Strange.
    I agree about the acceptance of one another. Long term and being home a lot together really helps build that (I think). I guess covid gave us that 🙂
    What a wonderful photo of your elder! She shines!

    1. deemallon Post author

      I’m glad we’re not the only ones. The bells sound quite mysterious!

      Being home together day in and out could have gone another way. I imagine for some couples it did. We ignore each other a lot. I think that helps. 😀

  2. Tina

    Bird songs .. love them!! Marti posted a link to what was on Sunday Morning that I found most interesting. How lucky that we’ll both get to visit with our brothers in May.

  3. Saskia van Herwaarden

    gosh 90! that seems such a long way away…..
    your friend looks amazing, I can almost hear her laughter
    she reminds me of my mum who until the very end was surrounded by many friends, she laughed a lot too

  4. RainSluice

    If only everyone who wrote about birds could do what you did here! And the video is a complete delight! And how you bring dimensionality to your long term relationship exchanges that reconnect with so much spark; at times – actual shenanigans.
    90. My mother-in-law is about to turn 97, and like this photo of your dear friend, she seems like she will outlive us all, so full of joy and energy, and sense.
    If they go before we do? ugh, it will be hard. Don’t even think about it. Life is for living – which is starting not to make sense to me anymore. why is that?
    Well, regardless, lots of hearts stitched into the air waves to youse from mese. (I had to look up mese and found mesentery – google it). xx

    1. deemallon Post author

      “The mesentery is a fold of membrane that attaches the intestine to the abdominal wall and holds it in place.” Who knew?

      The birthday still reverberating. Last night I couldn’t sleep at the thought of K dying before me (this sometimes happens before he travels). Definitely need a refresher on how to pay the bills online! That sounds flip but it’s not really.

      If life isn’t for living, then what is it for? Not sure I understand you there.

      1. RainSluice

        We do fear most the loss of those we are so grateful for. And, some days (I notice it more since passing my 65th year) it seems that people are dropping off the face of the earth like (how about you finish this sentence for me? because all that comes to mind is “flies”, and that ain’t it).
        You are right to be confused by me today – I am sooo tired! You are correct: what is life for then, if not for living it to the fullest? I guess I was trying to be clever about how chaotic life is these days. More coffee, please.
        Isn’t it fascinating about the mesentery? A new organ to worry about! 🙂


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