First, let me admit that I have blithely typed that title in, as if I had advice to dispense, but in fact, I have questions. Slightly desperate questions. But let me start somewhere else.
Yesterday afternoon, I was grumpy. We were trying to find sound equipment for some interviews I am doing, and as usual, we also wanted to equipment to multi-task for several other projects, actual and fantasy. And we wanted it to be very, very inexpensive. But of excellent quality.
The boys, of course, just wanted to play. No amount of singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” could convince them that driving around in their carseats had anything to do with the kind of fun they were after.
The guy at the audio place (which we chose because it shares the name of one of our sons) was absolutely humorless. It is a rare person who can be around Angie and not crack a smile. And here was Angie with Charlie on her back, dancing around and asking sincere, well-researched questions about audio equipment with humorous asides. No smile. No equipment, either. Just a glass counter, a long hallway, and this guy.
We left. Now it was too late to go to Radio Shack or anywhere else, because the park had risen forcefully to the top of the agenda. So off we went, to Totland, our home away from home. At Totland, we found Amanda and Vivian playing. We met Amanda and Matt in our birth class for Leo, when Amanda was pregnant with Vivian. Vivian can talk and give kisses–which the boys blushingly appreciated. Amanda offered us the loan of Matt’s microphone, which we were able to pick up that very evening, right after we picked up our near weekly Cheeseboard pizza. (Review of Pizza: YUM.)
Right then, while we were ending up with a very, very inexpensive, high quality microphone that we could aquire in the park (the boys approved of that), a big boy came along the cement path “road” at Totland in a large blue jeep decorated with a young punks dot com sticker. Charlie was in his own plastic orange car, but he was focused on honking and steering, and wasn’t actually moving anywhere. Leo was pushing a sort of lawn-mower toy with the little balls inside a plastic window that pop. It was a toy that made me wonder if we could get some sort of vacuum cleaner that he could push around the house like that . . . I got up to steer Charlie to the side of the road and direct Leo over next to Mama, and the dad of the big boy in the jeep said something about how it was hard to get anywhere.
“It’s the journey, not the destination,” I said. I live in Berkeley; these kinds of cliches passed off as insight are exected of me. Nonetheless, as I sat back down on the tiny cement wall, I found myself thinking about that cliche. And how infrequently I take in the journey; how frantic I am about the destinations–all four-hundred-fifty-six of them. Leo pushed his lawn-mower over to the water table and back. Charlie honked his horn and spun the wheel of his car. And I thought, I have no idea what’s going to happen.
[But more does . . . and it is posted on my web site at http://www.elizabethstark.com
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