SHARING THE WORLD, 2015 – WEEK 13

Share Your World – 2015 Week #13

What was your favorite subject in school?

Um, would you believe English? Followed by art and history? Probably no big surprise there.

books and the duke

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” (George Carlin). When have you had such a moment?

At my age, this is an unfair question. I can’t remember anything I haven’t written in my Google calendar.

I remember …

The first time I saw Jerusalem appear at the top of the mountain, from the taxi I was taking from the airport to my first little apartment in Gilo.

Infinite Grand Canyon

Seeing the Grand Canyon and thinking, wow, that’s really … wow. Really.

What’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, or numeric puzzles?

Crossword. Of course.

If you found an obviously abandoned car with $50,000 in the back seat, what would you do?

I’d assume the drug lord who left the money there would be back for it. If I take it, he will track me to the ends of the earth, then kill me and everyone I love.

75-OldTruck-NK

I’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order, Castle, CSI, NCIS, and The Black List. I don’t believe anyone just “forgets” $50,000. If it’s there, someone put it there and probably not a nice someone.

I’ll just tiptoe away before I get into real trouble. Okay, maybe I’ll take a few hundred. They’ll never miss it.

DON’T HOLD ME TO IT

Tagline — Our blogs have taglines. What would your tagline be?


And this is as reckless as we ever got. Reckless enough!

I’ve probably had a lot of taglines over the years. Life isn’t one thing. It’s a long book with a lot of chapters. No one is the same person at 68 as they were at 28 or 45 or 50. So, just for the record, I’ll go with: {Are you ready?} … {pause} … {Wait for it} …

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME.

Don’t hold me to it. I have given this prompt the attention it deserves. Eighty-six words.

GO WITH THE FLOW

150-GoWithTheFlowNK-family

This is an updated copy of the first one I submitted, in 2013. Note the similarities? This is because I have only one mind. Great as it is, it tends to think alike … even with a couple of years separation.

Tagline

THE FIRE THIS TIME

75-FireAndIcePoem


She had been frozen in time. And in reality.

Now slowly, steadily, she dripped, dripped, dripped. A thawing.

Flash frozen when she fell into the crevice between sections of the massive glacier which had covered what would someday be upstate New York.

The weather was more temperate this millennium. Ice had receded to its polar home.

Found. Discovered by a wanderers. Who were astonished to see this woman … or whatever it was … apparently made of ice.

They propped her up by the fire. Thus she dripped, consciousness leaking into her brain in tiny flashes.

She was hardly aware of her surroundings when she felt the flames. Licking at her. Fire. Warm, hot, searing. Barely time to register being alive, she was dead all over again.

It was the fire, this time.


 

The Blacklight Candelabra: Reincarnation. Sort of.

THE LAST SNOW

72-Junco-Last-snow-D_118

When I woke up around dawn Saturday morning, it was drizzling. As it had been, off and on, for several days. I went back to bed. Too early for anything useful. The next time I woke up, a couple of hours later, big fat snowflakes were drifting from the sky. Not a serious snow.

last snow bark winter

If I have learned nothing else, it is how to tell the difference between snow that means business, and those casually drifting snow flakes which will evaporate when they touch ground. I went back to bed. Again.

72-Last snow_17

When finally I got up and it was time for coffee and the day to begin, the snow had changed again. Finer flakes, but now mixed with a hint of rain. Still not serious.

72-Cat-Last snow_20

And so it has continued for several hours. Not enough snow to make a statement. It is just winter lodging a formal protest against being forced to leave.

Sorry about that, old man winter. You’ve out-stayed your welcome. There’s a new weather deity in town and she brings flowers and warmer weather. Pack your bags and go wherever you are supposed to be.

last snow low contrast winter

This is, I am convinced, the last snow. We will see no more of it until the seasons roll around again. It’s not that we haven’t seen snow later than this.

I remember a 28 inch blizzard on April 1st that was (no surprise) dubbed “The April Fool’s Blizzard.” It came, dumped more than two feet on Boston, then melted in a couple of days of 70 degree temperatures. I’m told there have been surprise snowstorms as late as mid May. But not this year.

72-Woods-Last-snow-D_115

This is the last snow of this winter. I have decided.

75-Spring-woods-2014

A HALF HOUR RADIO SHOW

See on Scoop.itBooks, Writing, and Reviews

This site hosts the original broadcasts of the cult radio comedy show “A Half Hour Radio Show,” syndicated around the US in the early 1990’s.

Marilyn Armstrong‘s insight:

When I was in college, I worked at the radio station. The people I met there included two husbands and almost all the people I call friends today. Sometimes, I was part of this show. I wrote some stuff, did voices on and bits. Hung around, heckled, made suggestions, joined in when another body was needed.

It was the biggest hit our little college station ever had. We were young, silly, and frequently stoned. Since then, the show’s producer, Tom Curley,  has put it through, many iterations, refined and rewrote it. After all these years, it’s still funny. You don’t waste funny.

Welcome to my fondest remembered past, the audio time capsule of my youth. From when the world and I were young …

The Show Must Go On

See on captclerk.podbean.com

BIG GUY AND THE CARDINAL

Garry was working weekends that decade, so whatever stuff happened on Sunday was part of his beat. This particular Sunday, the old catholic cathedral near our condo in Roxbury, was going to host Cardinal Bishop Bernard Law. It was a big deal for the neighborhood’s shrinking Catholic population.

Holy_Cross_Cathedral_1881

For a Prince of the Church to say Mass anywhere is an event, even if you aren’t Catholic. We lived one block from that lovely old cathedral. The neighborhood was buzzing.

It was a grand dame amongst local churches.You could see her former grandeur, though she was currently in desperate need of restoration and repairs to just about everything.

Roxbury was an almost entirely Black neighborhood. It had previously been a Jewish neighborhood which was red-lined by greedy real estate brigands. We had been among the first two or three middle class mixed-race couples to move back to Roxbury. We hoped we’d be the start of positive move for the neighborhood, including how it would be reported by media and perceived by Bostonians. We had chosen it less out of altruism and more because it was a great location. Convenient to everything with lots of green space, lovely neighbors, and compared to almost any other place in Boston, affordable.

It was not crime central. You could leave your car unlocked on the street and no one would touch it. I know because my neighbor tried desperately to have his cars stolen, going so far as to leave the keys in the ignition for weeks. Not a chance. People watched out for each other in Roxbury. I never had better neighbors, or felt safer.

75-BostonHPCR-3

The morning on which Cardinal Law was due to visit, Garry called.

“I was telling Bernie (Cardinal Law) that you used to live in Israel and are really interested in religion and stuff.”

“Uh huh.”

“So he’ll be dropping by for a visit.”

“When?”

“I think he’s on the front steps. Yup, there he is. Gotta run. Love you. Have a great day.”

BING BONG said the doorbell.

I looked at me. At least I was dressed. The house was almost acceptable. Thanks for all the warning, Gar, I thought. Showtime!

And in swept His Grace, His Eminence, wearing his red skull-cap and clothed in a long, black wool cloak. Impressive.

Big Guy stretched. Our Somali cat — the best cat in the world and certainly the smartest, sweetest and gentlest — was our meeter and greeter.

Big Guy
Big Guy

I offered the Cardinal the best seat in the house, the blue velvet wing chair by the bay window. Big Guy promptly joined him. We chatted for almost an hour. Israel, the church, whether there was any hope St. Mary’s would get funds to repair and upgrade before it was too late.

The neighborhood. A bit of church politics. Although Bernard Cardinal Law was ultimately blamed for the long-standing and terribly wrong policy of the Church in hiding the misdeeds of child-molesting clerics, this was years before that story came to light.

The man I met was wonderfully intelligent, friendly, witty, and a pleasure to spend time around. Which was probably why Garry was so fond of him and considered him a friend.

When it was time for the Cardinal to depart, he stood up. Big Guy left his cozy spot on the warm lap of the region’s reigning Catholic cleric. And that was when I saw the Cardinal was coated in cat hair.

Oh! Exactly what does one say in this odd circumstance?

“Wait a minute, your Eminence. Let me get the pet hair sticky roller and see if I can get some of that hair off your long black cape?” I was pretty sure the cloak needed more oomph than a lint roller. It was going to need some cleaning power beyond my limited resources.

So I shut up. Wincing with foreknowledge, we parted company. As he and his retinue swept out my door, I pondered how life’s journey takes strange side roads, unexpected twists, and turns. This was one.

“Meow?” questioned Big Guy. Clearly he liked the Cardinal and it had been mutual. I believe Big Guy came away from the experience with some special, secret understanding of Truth. I, on the other hand, felt obliged to call my husband and warn him that Cardinal Law was dressed in more than he realized.

“Oops,” said Garry, master of understatement.

“Yup,” said I, equally downplaying the difficulties that would arise from the incident. I had wrangled with Big Guy’s fur. I knew how bad it would be.

Some weeks later, when Garry, in the course of work, again encountered the good Cardinal, he called my husband to the side for a private word. The other reporters were stunned! What scoop was Garry Armstrong getting? Rumors ran rampant. Armstrong was getting the goods and they were out in the cold. Mumble, mumble, grouse, complain, grr.

“Armstrong,” murmured the Cardinal.

“Yes sir?”

“You owe me. That was one gigantic dry cleaning bill!”

“Yes sir, Your Eminence,” Garry agreed. “Been there myself.”

“I bet you have!” said Bernard Cardinal Law. And the two men shook hands.

When the other reporters gathered round and wanted to know what private, inside information Garry had, he just smiled.

“I’ll never tell,” he said. “Never.”

But now … YOU know. The truth has finally come out.