By Carl Dennis
If a life needn't be useful to be meaningful,
Then maybe a life of sunbathing on a beach
Can be thought of as meaningful for at least a few,
The few, say, who view the sun as a god
And consider basking a form of worship.
As for those devoted to partnership with a surfboard
Or a pair of ice skates or a bag of golf clubs,
Though I can't argue their lives are useful,
I'd be reluctant to claim they have no meaning
Even if no one observes their display of mastery.
No one is listening to the librarian
I can call to mind as she practices, after work,
In her flat on Hoover Street, the viola da gamba
In the one hour of day that for her is golden.
So what if she'll never be good enough
To give a concert people will pay to hear?
When I need to think of her with an audience,
I can imagine the ghosts of composers dead for centuries,
Pleased to hear her doing her best with their music.
And isn't it pleasing, as we walk at dusk to our cars
Parked on Hoover Street, after a meeting
On saving a shuttered hotel from the wrecking ball,
To catch the sound of someone filling a room
We won't be visiting with a haunting solo?
And then the gifts we receive by imagining
How down at the beach today surfers made sure
The big waves we weren't there to appreciate
Didn't go begging for attention.
And think of the sunlight we failed to welcome,
How others stepped forward to take it in.
We spent Saturday getting ready to go to the beach! So it was mostly laundry sorting and things like that while Paul and the kids applied deck sealant, which we needed to get done while they both were here to help. To thank them, we took them out for Chinese food, then stopped at Walgreens for bug spray and sunblock.
We had a brief consultation with our house-and-cat-sitter, organized food for the trip, and watched this week's Outlander (still beautifully filmed, though I don't have a great deal of feeling for most of the characters yet) and the Ravens' pre-season win over the Cowboys! Here is one of the rescued grizzly bears from the county fair: