A woman pushing her mother in a wheelchair came while I was waiting for my eye exam this morning, just when I was yawning and giving up on anything happening today. The mother held her toddler grandson while the daughter went to get the forms, and he had great blue wondering eyes that looked at everything and everything looked at. Paw Paw! he said excitedly pointing at the elderly man who sat next to me. No that's not Poppa, Poppa's at home, his mother told him. Paw Paw? he said, looking at me now. I smiled thinking: "Good heavens do I really look like a grandpa? No of course I don't... but then again who says Good Heavens besides grandpas", and immediately started developing a complex. He thinks everything is Poppa, she assured me. The little boy seemed content to have found two Poppas so far and was quiet for a while until he noticed the TV on the wall. PAW PAW!!! In the meantime the daughter was filling out the form for her mother. She read out loud "Check which con-dish-uns apply to you", and she listed them off: Blurry Distance Vision, Check, Blurry Near Vision, Check, Eye Strain, Check, Light Sensitivity, Check, and it turned out this woman thought she had everything, burning eyes, itchy eyes, watery eyes and dry eyes - perhaps one of each, I thought generously - and THEN they moved on to the Family History section: retinal disease? yes, glaucoma? yes, heart disease? yes, high blood pressure? yes, diabetes? yes, macular degeneration? yes, blindness? yes, and so and on and on and on until the "yes" had become a constant nod and everyone listening had become incredibly depressed. Then she came to "Other ____", and the mother thought for 4 minutes about it and then said a reluctant "No". The whole room had a silent cheer. You should have heard it. I think waiting rooms are strange and wonderful places.
Yesterday morning right after the Writer's Almanac on NPR I heard the gentle second movement of the Pathetique come on, and as I leaned my head on the speaker to listen, it shifted into Adeste Fidelis, O Come All Ye Faithful, joyful and triumphant, o come o come o come come come! It was surprising. it was joyeux. I am loving my piano today. Late last night before I went to bed I started to play a Rachmaninoff prelude, the last of the Ten Preludes of opus 23 and I know I always think when I first begin to play something that it is so beautiful, but the Rachmaninoff prelude is so beautiful. And my piano is my home again.
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal earth,
And of heaven, and the giant wars,
And love, and death, and birth