Thursday, July 08, 2010

Poem for Thursday and Monticello

The Kiss
By Stephen Dunn

She pressed her lips to mind.
            —a typo

How many years I must have yearned
for someone’s lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.

She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.

Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she’s missed.
How had I ever settled for less?

I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek’s ear,
speaking sense. It’s the Good,

defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.


On Wednesday I got to have lunch with a friend I haven't seen in more than a decade -- someone I met in Star Trek: Voyager fandom when she was around Daniel's age, who has since gone to college, gotten married, had a child, and become an occupational therapist, so it was really wonderful to see her! She was staying with relatives in Poolesville, so we met at Tara Thai in Gaithersburg, after which I went to the shop from which we've rented Adam's violin to get it restrung since we will own the instrument after the next payment at which point all care and repair costs become our own, but the shop is closed for the entire week. So I took the kids to the mall, got them Greenberry frozen yogurt and bought Adam an extra battery for his camera since the one he has keeps claiming to be more fully charged than it is and dying on him in places where he wants to take photos.

We came home in the early afternoon and watched the Spain-Germany match in the World Cup with the sound turned way down so we wouldn't have to hear the vuvuzelas (though apparently Adam's best friend has ordered one on the internet, so we are doomed). After Spain won, younger son went to the pool while I waited for an adjuster from the company that's going to repair our roof after the closet leak of a few weeks ago -- he said they can do the whole thing next Wednesday, so let's hope that's true. We also have someone from a different company coming on Thursday to fix the washing machine, yay! After dinner we caught up on last week's Futurama, which was hilarious -- the EyePhone, hee -- and that's all the excitement here. The Washington Post this morning mentioned that British-born actress Tracey Ullman spoke at the naturalization ceremony at Monticello on July 4th, so here are photos from the day before:

The grave of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote his own epitaph -- he knew the things for which he wanted people to remember him.

It was very warm when we visited his home, but the gardens were shaded and beautifully spread out.

The lawn was being prepared for a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens the next day.

Here is what remains of an enormous tree that once stood beside the house. There are other large trees still standing, but none that looked quite as large as this.

The exhibit hall next to the visitor center has many Jefferson artifacts, including the volume of Virgil's poetry he used in school and autographed.

It also has items found on the property like this ointment jar from a Parisian pharmacy, likely brought to Monticello by Sally Hemings.

This exhibit with interactive touch screens explores Jefferson's religious beliefs, political background, and contradictory attitudes toward slavery, which he abhorred in print yet from which he benefited all his life.

Here is the kitchen, restored in 2005 with a combination of original and replacement items. Dependencies like the kitchen and brewery were located in the basement built into the hillside; slaves carried food, wine, and beer upstairs to be served.

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