Pot Metal Lamps

I am particularly fond of lamps made of “pot metal,” dating from the 1920s and ’30s, their “sculpted” bases depicting women in flowing costume throwing themselves about in what one assumes to be dance poses. And/or women seated at pianos or holding mandolins while wearing expressions of exquisite vapidity.

I have no excuse for being particularly fond of these except that they draw me into a past I don’t recall, one that may never have existed. And yet, darlings, don’t we all yearn toward such a past — or could it be a future? — even as sunflowers yearn toward the sun?

Breathes there a man or woman so abysmally strong or dead that they do not hunger for a past that never was? If so, do not, for any reason, introduce us.

Thought on the Day After St. Patrick’s Day

It was late afternoon when we arrived at Cousin Danny Daly’s B and B on the green edge of green Killarney where everyone is named Sullivan, except, of course, Danny Daly. We took tea and cake with Danny and his wife Hannah, and, later, enjoyed supper of lamb and root vegetables.

Following breakfast the next day, we strolled — my Dan and I — in the misty, west Irish morning. West Irish moorings are mostly misty, with nothing lying between them and Newfoundland but the churning gray North Atlantic and an erratic escarpment of stony islands. Continue reading “Thought on the Day After St. Patrick’s Day”

It’s All About Sex, Right?

St. Valentine notwithstanding, beneath the romance and roses of February fourteen, runs a warm chocolatey river of sexual expectations or at least tensions. In considering this, I was oddly reminded of a dinner table conversation when our three children were young — maybe 9, 6 1/2, and 4. One warm summer evening, they asked where babies came from. That is, one of them asked, glancing at Dan, and the others looked mildly interested.

I’d imagined that children asked this question when they were about five, as in, “Allison’s Mommy is going to the hospital to get a baby. How much do they cost and can we get one?” From which dear innocent query, appropriate sexual information would ensue. But our children had waited until this evening to cut to the chase. “Where do babies come from?” Continue reading “It’s All About Sex, Right?”