Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cappuccino tastes better on barstools (and 14 other snapshots of a wonderful life)

Ever seen the movie Sunshine? Ralph Fiennes plays three generations of men in a Hungarian Jewish upper-middle-class family that sees the tragic and tumultuous regime changes of the 20th century's first half. (Fiennes also takes every opportunity to get naked and bed lots of woman with stock European accents. Lustiness must run in the family.)

But that's not what matters for this post. What DOES matter is the Sonnenschein family recipe -- the one for the famous healing tonic "Taste of Sunshine." And while the handwritten recipe is lost by film's end and the boat sinks!, its lesson for joy in life remains: "Try to photograph what's beautiful in life."

Now, I'm not the world's best photographer (see any previous post I've written that has an image), but I do like to think I can turn a nice phrase. So I'm going to share the literary equivalent of the Sonnenschein lesson: brief snapshots of beautiful moments I've remembered -- or realized -- or recaptured -- in this last week.

* Impromptu peasant meals made out of random fridge ingredients and shared with a friend should be washed down with red table wine.

* The Metro door stops right in front of you on the platform.

* Hot, fresh coffee is tastiest after church, held in a gloved hand, on a sunny winter day.

* A guitar is strumming in the basement. You know a song is about to be born.

* The baby in church whom you first recall seeing as an infant at Easter is now a bouncing baby boy with sticky-up hair and a propensity for wriggling.

* Errands are best run in daylight and on foot.

* You find yourself in the cookie aisle, staring at the shelves. Not buying, just staring. Because sometimes it's ok to stand around and not think.

* Squeaky new galoshes let you walk in every puddle. Warm, dry feet are more fun when decked in argyle.

* Rain makes cities cozy. All that bustle is reduced to the space under your umbrella and the steam on the inside of bus windows.

* The clocks creeps past midnight. You're still in bed with a good book, and have no intention of leaving it until it's finished.

* Luxury: not reading, writing, talking, or thinking in the hour it takes to get from one end of the city to the other. And not hurting from it, either.

* You enter a train station and there stands a good friend you haven't seen in awhile, and he gives you a huge hug and kiss on the cheek and company for the ride -- just when you need to feel you are not alone in the city.

* Why scrape the batter beaters completely clean? Your mother's not there to stop an extra lick.

* Cappuccino is best drunk on a bookstore bar stool.

* Your best friend calls when you're sitting blue on the blue couch. You tell her how you're around but not with people today, and she says she feels the same, and by the time you're done sharing and swapping and giggling and gossiping, you realize you are again with someone, even if she's 180 mi. away.

What are some of your favorite snapshots?

3 comments:

  1. The daughter who is on your mind every day writes a blog that lets you know she's trying in her lovely, unique way to cope with her current situation with style and grace. How did she know I needed that reassurance?

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  2. Weird, right? It's like she knows you or something ... ;)

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  3. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Julia by the Columbus statue. A surprise visit from a young man I taught to fly 48 years ago, now a retired air line captain who can't speak. My beloved playing Uno with our five year old great grand daughter. A Cardinal in the holly tree. My last landing a grease job. Picking, yesterday, the first camellia boquet of the season. Having a delightful young friend for a pen pal. Remembering a delightful daughter who was a great artist. Living in a 148 year old house. Seeing the most changes of any generation. A video session with the last four of my old flying buddies. Having a friend who's grandmother was a slave. Driving a 1990 Dodge pickup. Learning, at 85 to operate a computer. etc,etc.

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