Tuesday, April 19, 2016

When All the World is a Hopeless Jumble


Indulge me, darlings, in just a trace of sentimentality; perhaps I'm going soft in my old age.

This is, of course, a familiar song, and very likely for many Gentle Readers even a familiar version; Eva Cassidy, after all, was rather a thing a few years back. Posthumously, alas, which only adds yet another layer of melancholy to this already loaded work. I'd never seen this video, though, and watching it the other day reminded me that, all the hype aside, the woman really could sing, and her version, at least to me, is good enough to stand with any other - no, who are we kidding? There really is only one other. And Cassidy does enough to her take on what too often is a chestnut to make it her own.

And I thought of this song, and this version, this afternoon, the second perfect warm spring day of the season. I thought of it when I came home after a perfectly uneventful day at my almost matchlessly uneventful office, walking the pleasant mile-and-a-half or so up from the station. I got my usual welcome from the dogs and puttered downstairs to the gym. At length I came back up, tidied myself up, and sat on the balcony as the evening fell, the cool rolling in as the light faded, a happy old terrier on my lap and a slightly bouncier one investigating the further corners of the terrace. I made a nice tomato-pesto-cream sauce for dinner, and I read my current book for a while. Now I'm writing this up as I wait for the Mister to come home.

And at some point in all that placid busy-ness, it struck me, with a lovely pang. I chat, you see, with the dogs, the usual babble of endearment and admonition that one employs with little dogs. And I thought, in among the "good boys!" and "stop that!" and "what would you say to a little dinner, my dears?", a surprising thing: this is a house of love. The thing I babble most to those ridiculous creatures is some variation of "do you know how much you're loved?" I grew up in a very WASP house, you know, where if anyone had thought to stop and think about it, one might have assumed that one was loved, but such things were certainly never mentioned, just not done. That's one family tradition, for whatever reason, that has withered away. 

And then another thought:  dreams, as Mr. Arlen might put it, really do come true.  This is not something, for a very long time, I ever thought I'd know. And then, having found it, last year we went through a spell in which it seemed terrifyingly fragile. But here we are.

An ordinary moment in an ordinary day, but spun of so many precious things: familiarity, and health, and something nice on the stove, and one's grandmother's silver candlesticks on the table, and the April evening sky outside, and the imminent possibility of a key in the doorway. 

Just one in a thousand evenings at home, where troubles melt like lemon drops.

My God, what luck to know, sometimes, just how lucky one can be!

10 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you have it and so happy you appreciate it.

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  2. "This is a house of love" is the most beautiful thing I've read recently.

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  3. You make me appreciate my own good luck.

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  4. This is the description of happiness, contentment and joy. I've been feeling it lately and been aware of how good life is.

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  5. You are blessed - and you are a blessing to me.

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  6. Wonderful. Sounds very much like our house.

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  7. The planets must have aligned yesterday, dear Muscato. For after a busy day at the store, and my husband playing catch up after a week away on business, I was somewhat overwhelmed by thoughts of Him and Home and Happiness.

    The warmer weather means we'll have our "outdoor" dining room set up on the screened porch soon, and we'll have long, chatty meals as the sunlight dims. We'll be taking evening walks around the neighborhood. One or twice a week we'll pop out for ice cream. We'll retire to the sofa to stream our latest TV binge. We'll refer to characters on the shows as if they're actual people with whom we're acquainted. We'll pop off to bed and get up tomorrow and do it again.

    The routine, the comfort, the sureness. Who knew that when heaven opened a magic lane, the magic would lie in the everyday?

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    1. "Home! And this is my room -- and you're all here! ...Oh, Auntie Em -- there's no place like home!"

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  8. I have to comment again. This post has stayed with me over the last week; I read it to my Husband. 'This is a house of love' is one of the truest things that you have written, and you have written countless words of note. Thank you so much for this story.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. That means a lot.

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