October 13, 2010
Breakfast with ee cummings and Aaron Copland
The music was Aaron Copland's "Simple Gifts." The food was cream of wheat, granola and fruit. And suddenly, exquisitely choreographed, a pair of black birds soared past our windows.
Up and over the hills they swooped past us with studied precision, seldom a foot from each other, now to the Monterey Pine, now far out to Billy Goat Hill, now back again.
"Now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened," our friend e e cummings reminds us whenever we stop long enough to listen. This morning's performance, a week after the Blue Angels had arrived in San Francisco, begged the obvious question. Did the Navy's Blue Angels learn their routines from birds? Or did this pair of particularly elegant, truly avian aviators take notes from the Navy?
Another sage from the past, my grandmother, used to say that when there was suddenly a pause in the conversation, a silence, you should look at your watch and it will probably say it's either twenty minutes to or after the hour. That silence, she said, means that angels are passing over.
It's safe to assume that her angels, silent ones, were not those assigned by the Navy. However, I was in Huntington Park across from Grace Cathedral Saturday when Angels, the Blue ones, passed overhead so close you felt you could almost touch them. It was spectacular. Not silent. But quite spectacular!
Just like our birds.