Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I went walking just after sunset through our neighborhood, watching Hesperus, the evening star, bright in the western sky--violet-grey below, and indigo above interrupted by golden Saturn. Mercury peeked out for a while. The air was warm with low, hanging dust, and some pleasant odors, if dry, musky and bitter as they tend to be here. An incense, some baking, then a momentary reek of pipe tobacco that brought me back 30 years to my grandpa John in his basement in Troy-Del Way, standing in front of the home bar with an open-mouthed smile, holding out his arms. Then the scent drifted away and took the strength of the memory with it--what is it about smell that can make a memory as vivid as life, after decades of oblivion? It made me smile to remember, though long gone.

Tears are the salt of memory. They don't embitter it, but let us savor what has passed away as all things do. With time, they turn sorrow into nostalgia--the 'ache for what is ours.'

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