By Deborah Digges
The wind blows
through the doors of my heart.
It scatters my sheet music
that climbs like waves from the piano, free of the keys.
Now the notes stripped, black butterflies,
flattened against the screens.
The wind through my heart
blows all my candles out.
In my heart and its rooms is dark and windy.
From the mantle smashes birds' nests, teacups
full of stars as the wind winds round,
a mist of sorts that rises and bends and blows
or is blown through the rooms of my heart
that shatters the windows,
rakes the bedsheets as though someone
had just made love. And my dresses
they are lifted like brides come to rest
on the bedstead, crucifixes,
dresses tangled in trees in the rooms
of my heart. To save them
I've thrown flowers to fields,
so that someone would pick them up
and know where they came from.
Come the bees now clinging to flowered curtains.
Off with the clothesline pinning anything, my mother's trousseau.
It is not for me to say what is this wind
or how it came to blow through the rooms of my heart.
Wing after wing, through the rooms of the dead
the wind does not blow. Nor the basement, no wheezing,
no wind choking the cobwebs in our hair.
It is cool here, quiet, a quilt spread on soil.
But we will never lie down again.
Another from this week's New Yorker.
I went downtown on Thursday to meet someone I have known for years yet never seen in person before -- Jackie Bundy, Trek Nation's longtime book reviewer after I stopped writing the Book Padd column, who lives on the west coast and was in Washington to get her son settled at American University. We decided to meet at National Cathedral, since she had never been and I haven't been while the gardens were in full bloom. We visited the nave, the upper-level observation gallery, and the gardens, where we ate sandwiches from the cathedral's shop and caught up on what's been up in our lives since we last e-mailed. It was quite hot out but clear -- a great day to look at gargoyles -- and the sun was coming in through the east-facing stained glass when I arrived, the west-facing stained glass when I left.
George Washington's statue beneath a stained glass window at National Cathedral.
Abraham Lincoln stands directly opposite Washington in the nave.
The Space Window, at left, contains a piece of moon rock in honor of the moon landing.
From the exhibit Dreamers & Believers: Cathedral Builders, a model of the sculpture above the central doorway to the cathedral...
...and here is the sculpture itself.
A view from the observation gallery of cathedral spires and, beyond it, the dome of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The elephant-with-book gargoyle was designed as a tribute to a former cathedral bookstore manager.
The birds enjoy all the carvings on the gothic building, too.
My parents arrived home with our sons after dinner, where we had a joyous reunion that mostly involved them handing me their laundry, snuggling the cats, and making a mad dash for their computers to find out what they missed on Runescape the past few days. Then we all watched Next Gen together -- "New Ground," which I need to review, and which was a good family episode since it's about Worf trying to bond with his misbehaving son (who makes sure they rescue the endangered stick-lizards being transported by the Enterprise, so Adam approved). The cats were not impressed but they got to sleep in the empty luggage, so they were happy.