All weekend, the beautiful juxtapositions of like plus unlike have amused and startled me. It started with Forest showing me how to march backwards, diagonally, while holding his trombone in the right position in the middle of the football field. I was one of many confused, clumsy and inept parents, having arrived straight from the airport after the travel wormhole from Goddard College, where we sling around words like patriarchy, epistomology and liberatory, and acronyms like IMA, TLA, SBC and IRB. I could much less march than sing along to the “Star-Spangled Banner” with my hand on my chest, but I could sure appreciate the beauty of that juxtaposition.
Last night, coming out of Beasts of the Wild South — a film of such profound beauty, sorrow, soul and darkness, not to mention melting ice caps, mythic beasts and a small child with an expansive spirit living in “the bathtub” (an island off Louisiana, we walked right into a drunken wedding in the other side of the theater. A 20-something in a blinding hot pink dress was in the bathroom, yelling to her friend, “I’m more drunk than you area.” Ken was bogarted by a diamond-bracelet clad drunken young woman who was adamant that he was the doorman. We stepped outside into the lilting air to run into old friends from our folk dance life, pausing to catch up with them against the backdrop of a very loud band performing in a giant ship on wheels.
Today, I spent a few hours learning and remembering Hebrew songs for Friday night services with our band, Shiray Shabbat, only to have to slip across town to catch the block party celebrating on the oncoming opening of Dillons. I went from singing branches of the Kabbalah to eating a decidedly unkosher hotdog while Forest explained to me how the grocery store was trying to change its nickname from Dirty Dillons to Dapper Dillons.
The world is composed of juxtapositions: things you don’t expect to see or hear or taste together. Like right now as I type this, sitting at a table on the back deck while the wind pours around me, the dogs pants at my right elbow, and I can smell chili powder, peppermint, ground ginger and tea leaves on my fingers from having just cleaned out the spice drawer. The wind picks up, the heat lets go, and I’m humming “Oseh Shalom” in a new but wonderfully familiar tune. Then the phone rings, and now I’m about to walk through a tunnel of cicada hum-roar with the dog to catch the closing ceremony of the Olympics at my mother-in-law’s. Another beautiful juxtaposition to fall slowly into with my eyes wide open.