Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 30 - A Month of Momenti Mori

The skies this month have seemed daily to alternate sunshine and clouds except for the last two days of solid gray because the snow is coming. You can nearly see the weight above your head. We may wake up to a transformed view out the windows. I hope.

I've been haunting the puter all day, trying to get at this last post of the month, clicking on to check a little Facebook here, lurk a little Twitter there, making some notes, impatient to get it writ.

Thought, "how can I write the day before I lived it?" So packed our bags (we leave Fox Lake for downtown Chicago tomorrow), played a silly princess board game with Mia that she loved, took my walk, cleaned up, fed the girls, cried a little over the Trib story of tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the Our Lady of the Angels school fire, alternated sunshine and clouds.

Ninety-two children and three teachers died in the smoke and flames at the Catholic grade school on Chicago's West Side the afternoon of December 1, 1958.

One eight-year-old boy who escaped the fire that day grew up and became a pianist, singer and songwriter. I thought about posting the video of one of the beautiful power ballads Jonathan Cain co-wrote, a song I first loved when I was 18, but I couldn't help giggling at the band's goofy choreography, perfect 80's clothes and the growly-bear hands he makes playing an invisible piano. Steve Perry's emotional commitment is undeniable, though. Still a gorgeous song, as is Cain's "Faithfully." Look and listen for yourself on a walk down Memory Lane here and here.

Here instead is another song from Cain's pre-Journey career as keyboardist for another group I loved in high school, The Babys.

In other music news, Bobby and Julie are playing at the MCA in Detroit on Friday! Hey Michigan! Check it out!

More sun, more life:

Thanksgiving Day Mike told us more stories about creating the set for Obama's election night speech. They had a week of long construction days but couldn't start on the lectern, you know, that really important wooden stand sprouting the microphone that the president-elect will speak into? Because the Obama handlers were saying "There's a lectern he used in Berlin that he really likes. We're trying to track it down." So they built the stage, the set up for the stately line of flags, carpet, the whole deal, they were down to the wire, the handlers kept delaying til nearly the day before. Mike and crew finally threw something together, X-rayed bullet-proof steel liner and all and we thank them for it!

Here's a cool recipe idea from Bobby – Take out all those stray jars of condiments next time you're cleaning the fridge, all the half-used chutneys, salsas, hot sauces, (Bobby said he wouldn't use mustard, but I would), ketchups, vinegar (with discretion), honey bears, and so on and throw them in a pot and simmer them down to a BBQ sauce. No recipe, just dump in what you have and add some plain tomato sauce for balance. I wonder if pureed pickles would work too…

But remember…

Thanksgiving night, after the kids were put to bed, we all watched a DVD of a History Channel show, Cities of the Underground, that Mike and Christina had brought us. The episode about Paris went to the catacombs where stacks of countless anonymous bones had become artwork, retaining walls. "Augie would love this," Julie said. We talked of the death of Epic Soundtracks and the preserved bog people that fascinated seven year old Augie.

Mary Schmidt today says, "One of those weird things that happens the longer you're alive: You start to think of everything as breathing, and if you're listening you notice when the breathing stops."

I click onto a blog written by a woman fully aware of her impending death and I read the last post she wrote before she died in October. I am awed being this close to one who looked into the light of the face of death.

I have no summarizing statement today for my writing exercise during the month of November – it's back three days ago.


Janet Hale Tabin said...

Congratulations, Cindy; you really did it and you did it well. Janet

suesun said...

I clicked the link, and scrolled down until I found her last post before she died as well. I have been surrounded by death lately, it seems, and this was just one more example of the synchronicity of that. Strange. Thank you.

2KoP said...

Loved it all. Love the recipe — it's a must try.