Monday, October 11, 2010
...how i spent my summer staycation, part 1...
The diarist impulse once more moves the figurative quill with a will of it own. So many points of entry have no significance yet pan out much better than one imagined; even Proust's was pretty mundane, if highly effective, in summoning up events of 30 or 40 years past. The choice then is as much "The Lady or The Tiger", yes? You think you are taking the best path when the option was merely chance.
But when chance is the only thing that breaks the logjam of Indifference, and its non-differentiation from Indolence, and its close relation Idleness, you take the first thing that falls in your path.
Hence an object that fixes a date is best. The National Organization of Women has received a lot of bad press over the years for being arch and uncompromising with respect to equality in rights and parity in wages. This is no worse than the "Extremism in defense of Liberty..." argument. Perhaps their approach to sexism--seeking to censure it in the culture as a whole--has become a bit too broad (no pun intended), but that's at least kept the other issues in the news.
When our longtime pals Shirley and Joanie decided they couldn't wait for New York to change its laws, they opted for Massachussets' more same-sex-friendly legislation and chose this Independence Day weekend meeting to make the celebration big-time. And what better way for lifetime supporter/members to show solidarity than to have it in the main hotel ballroom of the conference? The rest of the holiday was just so much butter-cream icing on the cake with the little twin dutch-girl Hummel-type figurines adorning the triple-layer confection. (Query: when they bring it out after the first slice, how is it that the original shape was round and all the divisions are square, of the same proportions and none showing evidence of a wedge? is there actually a second one done in breadpans? Do they throw out the V-shaped cuts?) The national chairwoman congratulated them as this was the first time NOW had hosted a wedding, bringing this up to a near State-wedding category--if you rate Feminism up there with other big "isms" of the 20th century.
Rather not dwell on the whole issue of rights here as it takes away so much from the occasion itself. Remember? This is the 4th of July. In Boston. The home of the original Tea Party...when it meant something other than narrow-mindedness and self-absorbtion. (See a previous post here for more on that subject. And I'd tell you which one it was....but I just can't seem recollect exactly which one that was at this moment...) At any rate, revelry was in the atmosphere, the wine of exhilaration...as much as the $3 lemonades necessary for walking any distance in the heat. And The Freedom Trail is just such a pilgrimage that no American can resist. The great thing about Boston is that even though the downtown evelopment is as rampant as New York's, they managed to preserve enough of the locations intact so that, if you use your imagination, you can see the human scale of events, wherein the highest point would be the Old North Church where Paul Revere sighted those lamps: one if by land, two if by sea. If there is anything resembling hallowed ground, outside of a few Civil War battlefields, this is it. So is it any wonder that, as we strolled--post-hitching--from the Commons to the Old State House (and look through the actual window to the intersection where the fabled Massacre took place) to Fanieul Hall to Old Ironsides to Revere's house... Could I be forgiven, even amid the lovely piper's demonstration of period musical themes in the silversmith's courtyard, still humming the wedding music from last night, k.d. lang's exhilarating "Just Keep Me Movin'"?
"Free-eee-dom! Free-eee-dom! Free-eee-dom! Ooooh-Ooooh-Ooooh-Ooooha! Ooooh-Ooooh-Ooooh-Ooooha! Ooooh-yeah!"