First Poppy

I noticed it while coming home from work yesterday–the first poppy bud.  It isn’t open yet.  But it makes me think of Whitman and Leaves of Grass.  Somewhere in there he says that the green grass is the “flag of my disposition,” I suppose meaning that he feels some kinship with the upward thrusting joy of nature growing toward the sun.  (Of course he also says that grass is the beautiful uncut hair of graves.  Not so sure how I feel about that one).  I want to say that that poppy bud is the flag of my disposition, the symbol of my hopefulness.  But there’s that grave possibility as well.  I guess that’s how a person is likely to feel during a time of change.  Are we moving forward into hopefulness or plunging over a cliff to our graves?

So I guess we’ll just get back to that question in a few months.

In the meantime, I feel the urge to learn to play the cello.  Have you ever felt that urge?  Cellos are so deep and mellow, it seems that it would be very grounding to play one.  Almost like playing a tree.  I’ve played a cello once, just for a minute, about a year ago when our quartet was practicing before church and I asked the cello player if I could just try out his cello.  He probably thought I was crazy.  It was nice, though.  I wasn’t too bad.  I played the open strings very nicely.  For some reason, the thought of having a cello, thinking of it there leaning against the wall in our living room, has taken on a sort of solidity in my mind.  Perhaps I’ll start scanning Craigslist for used cellos. If we don’t get through this stressful time of our lives soon I’m going to end up with a living room full of instruments, though.  The thought had already occurred to me that a flute might be nice . . .

Other people have other ways to deal with stress.  I guess I turn to music.  Maybe I should get a viola has well.  Then I’d have a whole quartet.  If it comes down to it, I’d be ready to play sad music on the deck of our ship as it sinks slowly into the sea, like those guys on the Titanic.

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