Friday, July 21, 2006

Luminous, Infinite


My dad started building his own plane, a Mustang II, when I was a toddler. The Stang, as my dad referred to it, figures in many of my earliest memories. My dad worked all week and gave flying lessons on the weekend, but he always made a little time for his plane. I liked to watch him work on it -- he had a perfectionistic streak in regards to all things mechanical and his engagement was intense. I have always thought you know people best from observing them when they are doing something that makes them most themselves.

He never finished his plane, despite all those years. It's not surprising that I learned about the joys of the long project from him and that it gives me some patience when I work on something that never seems like it will be finished. The Stang is still in the garage, surrounded by his tools, as if it's waiting for him to start working on it again. After all, he'd take long breaks from it, but he'd always return, eager to begin where he'd left off, sure that he was getting closer to the day it would leave the garage for the big blue sky.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image." Joan Didion.

Fire on the Mountain

one part silver tequila
one part fresh-squeezed lime juice
one floater of mescal

Benedictions and Maledictions

Luminous, Infinite

I got busy shoveling dog shit, my friend
said about missing a party. It’s weird how
you forget stuff, she’d remarked in the same
tone she’d pronounce something luminous
or infinite. Something beautiful against
something ugly, she’d say about an arty
photograph, the story of my love life for
years. Her boyfriend had a cleft-palate and
had been kind and hopeful and rich. Love,
in its wondrousness, did not solve everything.

14 comments:

Sheila said...

I'm afraid of planes. I've only been on a plane twice and I will totally go if I need to but I get scared when we take off and when we land. Nice post and the poem is great.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,

What a lovely story of persistence, and such a smile not to be forgotten. And the poem is profound, as always. Bravo!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Makes me wonder what I'll leave behind and what significance it will have for others, or how it may define who they are. Today, Michelle, I learned a bit more about you through your father's plane. Love the personal touch.
--Jim

Anonymous said...

Today's triple-header "Quote of the Day":#1: There is nothing nobler and more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.--Homer;#2: Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards.-- B.Franklin; #3:Take my wife, please!--Henny Youngman.

Anonymous said...

Today's 2nd "Quote of the Day": She took off for the footlights. I took off for the sky.--H. Chapin.

Anonymous said...

Today's 3rd "Quote of the Day": Bright idealism makes poetry soar.--Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

"...remakes it in his own image." --Joan Didion. Kind of reminds me of God's love for humankind. Joan Didion's best writing is hard to top.

R's Musings said...

What a sweet post, M. My dad had a plane, too, a 4-seater Cessna. It's amazing how tranquil you can feel, when all you hear is the drone of the engine and see the beauty of WV's hills through the window!

Cheri said...

One of my best friends from high school is a pilot and despite his numerous offerings, I have yet to take a ride in a plane. I went to Kennedy Space Center and went inside an effin rocket but movies and 9/11 have pushed me away from planes. But I agree with Jim- I hope that I can leave behind some sort of legacy, persay, and I love the poem.
---Mlle C

Anonymous said...

Cheri's going to love that cleavage shot.

Anonymous said...

Undoubtedly, Jim will take this photo to the jail. No-penetration porn is allowed.

Anonymous said...

Michelle, amor vincit omnia didn't work for the speaker of "Luminous, Infinite." I say she needs some bitchslappin'.

Paul said...

O Mighty Isis,
hail Queen of the bayo. Sweet smile brings bliss. Michele spells __Foxy Lady__

R2 C2!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Mr. 6th Anonymous,
Here's your phonics lesson for the day: "FA" say it, c'mon, say it.

"FAAAAAH"
"Q!"