Saturday, October 16, 2010

i don't put enough pictures on here, i realize; i've been using the blog in my desperate attempt to keep from writing altogether, but i fail to bring my camera with me in my everyday life, so i'll have to show with word pictures where i was and what i did.

more stunning weather here, cool, dry, clear, the leaves at their peak, the air fresh and wonderful. had a soccer marathon that was uneventful and then a long stretch at the park, but what capped off the day was a party given by an uruguayan friend who has just become an american citizen. in his pretty house were two cakes, lots of other foods and lots of people, in particular all of the swimmers (i know him through swimming), a motley crew of people from all corners of the university who know each other pretty well in spite of having so little else in common. one of the cakes has a digital picture on top, of him receiving citizenship in a courthouse from a judge; is this digital reconstruction edible? i'm not sure. outside, children run amongst the trees and people stand around drinking wine; it's a well-attended party.

i stroll in with my fiddle, and, in the middle of the main room, next to the piano, i take it out, and play the national anthem. it's a hard song and i'm musically less than perfect. nevertheless everyone is singing by the end, which is good, and then, after saying the pledge of allegiance, he is led to give a speech about how, basically, it took him 32 years to get this, his lifelong dream. the essence of the speech was really that the obstacles were such that only extreme persistence and repeated efforts would have worked. i want my son to hear this as i've had a hard time getting him to register to vote, and he's running out of time; however, he's gotten into a minor fender-bender across town and none of my family is attending. as the one who has just played the anthem i am frozen there as if on center stage, right near him, holding the fiddle, like a dignitary accepting his speech. oddly, most of the swimmers are right there nearby. these are old guys who spend lots of lunch hours in the pool beneath the clocktower, and, to me, it is unusual seeing them in clothes.

the stress and tension of having grown boys out on the road meeting their fate doesn't go away; i worry and keep worrying, and it stays with me even now. there are a lot of these minor accidents around town, enough to keep the police busy all day. my story above has no resolution; i leave partly because i've done my part, and have a busy family to worry about and can't stand around drinking wine and relaxing. but i remember some of his words; they kind of stick with me. as an uruguayan voting has always been very important to him and to be unable to do it in the country he has lived in and chosen, has also been very difficult. he is more than willing to do the next step, which he assumes is jury duty (i tell him, you may not be so pleased at what this system will show you, on the jury box - at the kinds of crimes we here in this small town are occasionally asked to adjudicate), and is also aware that the one right he still does not have, that i have, is the right to become president; he is also aware of many more rules that many of us often forget. it turns out that if you grow up political, in a political envirnoment, you're going to stay that way in any environment, and so, on a clear fall day, with kids rustling in the falling leaves outside, we are talking about the order the states entered the union, or maybe who was president after polk. 'the usa is an unwritten story, one guy says, buy once again it's late; the little letters are swimming across my eyesight as i try to remember what i was going to say. another day, maybe; this one is pretty much taken.

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