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October 30, 2006

Near Perfection

2006-10-29 01.jpg

Yesterday's weather was spectacular. We left the house early equipped with hats and gloves and cameras and were greeted with some of the strongest wind we had felt this season. On Beard Street, a piece of the shipyard fence had been ripped off from the force, and as it swung back and forth on its two remaining nails we surveyed the barren destruction that will at some point be reborn as a gigantic IKEA. The wind was so strong that we could barely hear one another, and as we continued down to Columbia Street and over to the bay, we were literally blown toward our destination-- the most beautiful layering of clouds and streaming sun that I have ever seen. From there we wandered through southern Park Slope, through Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. It was cold and we had a stew to make that evening, but still we took our time and looked at little things, noting changes in our neighborhoods, old and new.

Sometimes perfection comes when it is least expected. It surfaces in sun slivers slicing through the billowing clouds. It rises from the steam of your apple cider, which you know is really just hot apple juice but warm and sweet, just the same. It peeks out from the windows of a little house that you simply stumble upon, with a bright back sunroom and beautiful backyard, one that is for sale but that you probably will not buy, but presents possibilities that you had not thought of before. Sometimes perfection is just one gloved hand inside another, walking down Fourth Avenue together, content about the present and excited about the future.

Related: The Walt Whitman selection that I memorized:

[from Birds of Passage; Song of the Universal]

Come said the Muse,
Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,
Sing me the universal.

In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.

By every life a share or more or less,
None born but it is born, conceal'd or unconceal'd the seed is

Posted by callalillie at October 30, 2006 10:09 AM | City Life , La Familia


I love days like that.

And that picture is amazing.

Posted by: Phc at October 30, 2006 11:18 AM

Didn't we sing a song with Whalt Whitman poetry lyrics the one time we were both in chorus at USDAN? It sounds so familiar especially "sing me the universal"...

Posted by: kar at October 30, 2006 12:26 PM

PS You should see the sky during a tornado warning here in the Chicago are... Being an native east coaster I'd never seen anything like it before. The clouds were literaly moving up and down (vertically)--very defined, full of contrast with beams of light shooting out of crisp dark clouds and things were blindingly lit underneath and dark on top...reminded me of being pulled under by a wave at the ocean and getting turned around underwater not knowing which way the surface was.

Posted by: kar at October 30, 2006 12:33 PM

Whitman rules!

Posted by: Will at October 30, 2006 12:36 PM

Hmm. I don't remember singing anything related to Walt Whitman at USDAN. Wearing a tuna fish can on my head and singing something from The King and I, yes. Whitman, no.

Posted by: corie at October 30, 2006 2:05 PM

I had my eye out for you this weekend as I wandered Brooklyn in the wind. My route mostly took me from the Slope towards Crown Heights, then down through the incredible wind tunnel that forms in the area around Atlantic Avenue and BAM.

It was glorious to be there, this weekend in particluar.

Posted by: Bill at October 30, 2006 4:28 PM

hi i am trying to access the pics on this ( page but the browser says "The requested URL /archives/0603/sketch_eye.html was not found on this server."

Could you please fix it, or give me the links the photographs?

Nice photographs :)


Posted by: Tarun at October 30, 2006 10:23 PM

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