Sunday, September 11, 2011

custard, yertle, auden. in no particular order.

On this beautiful quiet Sunday morning, WH Auden, old-fashioned egg custard pie, and Facebook - waiting for updates on a friend in trouble - are all pulled up on my computer.

It says a lot.

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along

How right he was.

That's what we're all doing today, right? Remembering where we were walking ten years ago. Somehow it connects us to that moment, to the victims we saw on CNN. It is the hinge between "before" and "after" in our country, and we need to claim some skin in it too. So we remember where we were.

I was sitting in a waiting room of an ICU, waiting for my grandmother - who made the best chocolate icing and would dig for worms with me and left oranges on my windowsill until September 10, 2001 - to die. That's where I was.

So I'll make an egg custard pie today. And give it to my Dad, because he will appreciate eating something his grandmother used to bake for him, too.

The memory connects us to one another.

And at the same time, in a smaller way, it's happening again. While I am tempering eggs and tearing foil into strips, a good friend's life is unraveling. Her story reminds me of Yertle, the turtle king who reigned over all he could see. But he wanted to see more, so he stood on other turtles, as many as he could, for as long as he could. My friend is married to a Yertle.

And I'm not a part of his pile.

So. Since I can't stop Yertle (he has to topple on his own), and remembering an ICU waiting room is not something I care to do all day, and it's a glorious Sunday morning anyway, I'm going to bake.

Hope your memories today help you feel more connected.

And I do sincerely hope you're not married to a Yertle. Or if you are, that you'll move out of the way before he falls.

PS - My dad liked the pie.

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