Dirge in Woods by George Meredith

Dirge in Woods by George Meredith
A wind sways the pines,
         And below
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.
The pine-tree drops its dead;
They are quiet, as under the sea.
Overhead, overhead
Rushes life in a race,
As the clouds the clouds chase;
         And we go,
And we drop like the fruits of the tree,
         Even we,
         Even so.
It was sometime in the summer of 1962 and my father, who was as addicted to a good World’s Fair as he was to Pepsi Cola, crammed all 8 of us into the car and we set out from Connecticut to Seattle.  We went the northern route and there were parts of Canada with still unpaved roads that we creaked tentatively through.   We stopped at wonderful places:  Banff, Lake Louise, and Vancouver and Victoria and finally arrived in Seattle.
There was a little production in a theatre at the World’s Fair:  I don’t recall what it was, but it was for children.   My mother ushered her six children into the theatre and then shouted out in her effusive way:  “Look!  It’s Harry Karl and Carrie Fisher!”  She then went on to explain excitedly all about Debbie and Eddie and Liz.  I was fascinated with young Carrie and stared unabashedly at her:  she wasn’t that far from my age and her face was a bit pallid, a bit plump, a bit depressed, a bit as if she wanted to be anywhere else in the world.  Harry Karl had the spectacles, as above, and there was no sign of Debbie or Todd.  My mother was excitedly in her mood didactic:  “Did we know that Debbie played the French Horn?  Did we know it was incredibly difficult to play?  Did we know that it was not a brass instrument?”
And I kept staring at Carrie–not because her parents were famous but because she was one of the few little girls I had ever seen who looked as if she shared my acute ability to be mortified and unhappy.   I didn’t have the impression that Harry Karl and she had a close connection.  She defied stereotype  but she seemed to have an intelligence and an observing eye.
I have never been a connoisseur of celebrities but I’ve always remember how Carrie Fisher looked, age 5 or 6, and how I was able to project my own feelings onto her and feel that somehow I was at least a bit correct.
2016 has been a brutal year for deaths and loss.  It’s been a year of trauma.

Author: Gubbinal

Bookish, tea-drinking cat-lady who loves great poetry and music and is in the midst of dying

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