Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28: A Musical, Classic Saint Marty, "Lilacs"

Went to see a musical today with my wife and son.  Once Upon a Mattress.  It was a community theater production, and my son loved it.  I had to drag him away from his computer game to get him to go.  Half-way through the performance, he turned to me and whispered, "I regret not wanting to come."  Then he hugged my arm.

It was a great daddy moment for me, introducing my son to something that I love.  I may not be able to change a flat or change the oil in my car.  I don't fish or hunt or throw footballs.  But I can sit in a dark auditorium with my kids, tell them about Carol Burnett and Nathan Lane and Stephen Sondheim.

Three years ago, I was thinking about my differences again . . .

May 28, 2014:  Cars, Mechanically Challenged, Google

...Elwyn [E. B. White] loved cars.  So did the boys' father.  After selling two of his three carriage horses, Samuel bought a Pope-Tribune runabout, which looked sporty with its long, straight-steering shaft and boxy engine bonnet, until he replaced it with a sleek Maxwell roadster whose short running board swooped forward and back to form elegant tire guards like wings.  But Samuel never learned how to drive and left that particular twentieth-century excitement to his children.

White was in love with the horseless carriage, as were his brothers and father.  Typical guys.  They're interested in cars that are fast, elegant, sleek.  I'm sure that if Elwyn were a teenager in the twenty-first century, he'd probably own the newest iPhone.

I've never been into cars.  The only thing I look for in a car is that, when I turn the key in the ignition, it starts.  That is my definition of a good car.  Of course, I like driving new cars.  But I really don't care if I'm driving a station wagon or a Lexus.  If it gets me to where I want to go, I'm satisfied.

I've always been mechanically challenged.  All of my brothers know cars inside and out.  They can do crap like brake jobs and oil changes.  I'm happy if I can change a taillight (and I usually have to ask my brother to help me).  I just don't do car stuff.  However, I can spot a bad metaphor from a mile away.  Give me a bad poem and pencil, and I will turn it into a verbal Corvette.

That's who I am.  I'm not the oily jeans kind of guy.  Sometimes I wish I was.  I could probably save myself a lot of money.  This morning, I heard a story on the radio about Google creating a car that drives itself.  Just enter your destination, and the car does the rest.  If Google invents a vehicle that changes its own oil and fixes its own valves (whatever the hell those are), I am totally sold.

Until then, Saint Marty will continue to put his key in the ignition, say a prayer, and turn it.

If it gets me to work, I'll drive it.

And an early summer poem . .


by:  Martin Achatz

Early June, lilacs begin to bloom
In my backyard, along paths
I walk at sunrise.  They swell
The air with rain and dirt,
The promise of warm months
Just around the corner, a battalion
About to roll into town,
Unstoppable as a tank.
Bushes bud, slow fireworks
The color of midnight
Blueberry and silk cocoon.
By summer solstice,
Lilacs overrun my neighborhood,
The way the Mississippi overruns
Its banks during hurricanes,
The way fire and bricks and blood
Overran the streets of Los Angeles
After Rodney King.  For days,
The world smolders, burns
Purple and white, unchecked,
Until the killing heat of July
Comes, withers petals to husks
Of brown, to burned-out shells,
To reminders of that first
Crush of summer, when we all
Spill into the sun, sure,
If we shout loud enough,
Spread our lilacs far enough,
The children of America and Pakistan,
Of Israel, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan
Will somehow blossom into peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment