Saturday, February 4, 2012

Random thoughts that I had no intention of publishing


I am currently having my feet attacked. Our kitten comes to bed with me each night and as I put my feet under the blanket, she lies in wait and then jumps on them like a tiny grey and white gang member fresh from a visit to the litter box. She is nothing if not ridiculous and she makes me smile inordinately as she attacks my horrible toes through two quilts and and afghan.

On the computer right now I am streaming a Tiny Desk Concert from NPR Music. Bill Frisell is interpreting three of John Lennon's Beatles tunes. I've listened to the performance, one man and his electric guitar accompanied only by his genius, at least four times now today. The sheer beauty of it, the seeming simplicity of it sends me to places that I can't adequately describe. My wife and I are talking about taking the kids to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a Van Gogh show later this month. The way I feel about Frisell's playing is about the same as standing in a museum before something as gorgeous as a Van Gogh or a Rothko. I just can barely contain myself. Or rather, I am completely contained because I feel as though I might burst. It's as though I'm a balloon expanding and just the slightest thing could pop me. I'm smiling typing that line, thinking, "there's no way anyone is ever going to believe that," and still knowing that it's true.

My wife just came upstairs with the dog who waited patiently to be let into my eldest daughter's room where she sleeps. Stephanie let her in, then came right back out. I asked, "how can you go in there and not just stare at our girl for a few moments?" She said that she worries she will disturb the girl's sleep. Such things are beyond my worry when I go in there at night with the dog. Each time, I simply feel the necessity of pausing beside her bed to stare at her impossibly perfect face asleep and waiting for all that she will become. I whisper to her that she is strong, smart, and the wonder of my life. I usually touch her arm or kiss her head because there is nothing I want more to do.

But that's not even the best part about all of this. You see, after I have done all that, I go out of her room quietly, close the door, and then go visit her younger sister. There I find a girl with her head off the pillows, surrounded by (I kid you not) seven or eight dozen stuffed animals. She is almost always asleep with her head turned up, her mouth slightly parted, and her hand reaching out. I hold that hand and she stirs. Sometimes she lifts her head up as though she is awake. I know better. This is my girl and even were I to wake her completely, play an entire game of Monopoly with her, feed her cookies and then get her back to sleep, she would have no memory of anything but sleeping the night through. I whisper to her that she makes me proud to be myself, just looking at her, that she gives me all the hope I'll ever need for the future, and that she makes me smile more than I thought my face could handle. Then I say goodnight and slip out the door.

My wife just put a laundry basket over the kitten like some sort of cage, or better yet, the cage from the game Mousetrap. The kitten, ever curious and none too bright, looked on with excitement and I could see her thinking that this could be the beginning of a beautiful adventure. I looked at Stephanie and she giggled like she was eight or ten years old. The way that I listen to music or stare at art, she looks at kittens and our dog. The way she laughs and giggles, the way she so clearly wants to hug the animals until they burst, is what my girls have learned. There is a purity, a sweet naivete to her love and the fact that I'm in the presence of all this is good enough, but to know that so much of that force is directed toward me is too much good fortune.

Now I lay me down to sleep, knowing I'm surrounded by and in a love so deep. Bill Frisell has almost finished with his song. And for tonight I'm all done. Tomorrow, I'll find new reasons to be in love and of course new reasons for me to write on.