Saturday, September 29, 2012

Holding Back Time

I took this photograph the other day from the roof while I was cleaning out the chimneys. It's a chore I do every year that marks the real end of the summer. Wood fires are imminent. As a matter of fact, we're just holding out, clinging to the illusion that we are still enjoying the easy days and nights of summer. The nights are cold enough now for fires, especially since the leaves on the maple trees to the south and west of the house keep it from getting a lot of sun. The leaves here in the woods to the east have just started to turn, none of the bright reds and oranges that mark the peak of foliage season, when the tourist industry gets a huge bump with the visiting leaf peepers. This year, there is also the influx of the candidates. Both Obama and Ryan and their running mates and significant others have been popping up all over the Granite State making speeches. The race seems to be going in favor of Obama. But it's just heating up now,  much like the foliage.
Watched The Iron Maiden last night with Susan, and it brought back memories of our days together in London at the end of the Thatcher administration. Meryl Streep as usual does a "spot on" job with the voice and gestures and even the vacant sideways looks of the elder Maggie in the throes of oncoming dementia. The youth out in the street with the vests and long hair battling the police during the poll tax riots in the news reels were images of a distant past, like visiting another country. Funny, in my mind it still seems so vivid and real. I remember the excitement when she resigned, as if the wicked witch of the West had finally melted and the little people got to dance for a little while.
The passage of time is a funny thing, the object of attention of many a novelist, the way it telescopes and fragments in our memories. Routines and chores are a comfort to us, as they signal continuity and give the illusion of permanence. They say the only two things you can really count on are taxes and change. Of course if you are in the 47 percent you don't believe that and you are hoping, as I do, that Barack will hold back the hands of the clock as well. With that easy smile and sonorous voice, he could probably charm Father Time.
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