Saturday, March 31, 2012

We Just Arrived in Tokyo

We are finally here in our little room on the 14th floor of our hotel in Downtown Tokyo. This is the scene from our window. Ken has been here for a week and Yumiko and I just arrived after 20 hours in route. The plane in Chicago had a broken part, so we waited on the tarmac for close to four hours before taking off. But, we had good books and a little white wine and life does not get better. More pictures to come as we venture forth for the next week here in Tokyo and on the Izu Peninsula.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beautiful Bluebirds

Oh what a morning. I found a beautiful pair of bluebirds at Valley Forge and they stayed and posed for a few minutes of pure joy. The first one is the female and the last three are the male. Spring is truly in the air. Click on the image to get a better view. Have fun.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gate C22

On my way to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge early this morning I was listening to Dan Gottlieb on NPR interviewing the poet, Ellen Bass. She was reading from her poem "Gate C22" and I was so enthralled, I vowed to copy it here for your pleasure, along with a picture of a little blue heron who just happened to land in my viewfinder:
Gate C22
At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed a woman arriving from Orange County. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking, the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other like he'd just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island, like she'd been released at last from ICU, snapped out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.

Neither of them was young. His beard was gray. She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish kisses like the ocean in the early morning, the way it gathers and swells, sucking each rock under, swallowing it again and again. We were all watching — passengers waiting for the delayed flight to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots, the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling sunglasses. We couldn't look away. We could taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.

But the best part was his face. When he drew back and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost as though he were a mother still open from giving birth, as your mother must have looked at you, no matter what happened after — if she beat you or left you or you're lonely now — you once lay there, the vernix not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth. The whole wing of the airport hushed, all of us trying to slip into that woman's middle-aged body, her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.