In celebration of this year’s 9/16 tuplet birthday I am nearing completion of my Sibelius transcriptions for iPad of his Well Tempered Clavier, Books 1 & 2. So far this year I have completed The Art of the Fuge and the Goldberg Variations. Today I will complete both No. 16 Prelude & Fugues in G Minor.
I chose this place at Third and Dogwood because it is what it is, no more or less—a parcel of ground set apart to bury the dead. It is laid out in blocks separated by narrow lanes, barely wide enough for one car pass—originally meant for wagons and carriages I suppose. There is no mausoleum here, nor alabaster statues—no reminders of eternal life. I am satisfied with that. If such considerations have been unimportant in life, they are meaningless by the time you arrive at this place; you die as you have lived.
I was alone as far as I could tell, standing at my husband’s grave that morning after his burial. Once more I was the detached observer, standing apart, hollow as the man of straw, just as I had been on the morning of my mother’s death.
It had rained all night, and the fog was settling in over the surrounding stone markers. The patch of grass was raw from his intrusion. My own plot was unbroken. The soil had never been turned; no row of beans, or potatoes or marigolds had been planted there. Suddenly I was filled with an astonishment that chilled me to the bone. I was standing on my own grave that waited without purpose for my committal. I had reached the end of trying to understand this brief span of life that comes out of the darkness and returns to the night.
But a strange thing happened as I began to breathe again. It was not the death and funerals that filled my mind, but the joy of my mother’s laughter as I skipped over crusty patches of snow and stuffed my pockets with Johnny-jump-ups; it was the appreciation of the good black soil and all that grew there that my grandfather had given me; it was the first cry of my children; and of all those whom I have loved me, and especially those who have loved me back. Every loss and every leap forward confirms my existence.
– Third and Dogwood, ©2000 Vivian Cress.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book Wisdom.
Engraved in the ceiling of the Jefferson Memorial:
for I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
This is one of the last pictures I have of my father. Unfortunately, it is a low resolution image. He is pictured with the remote control replica of a Northrup P-61 Black Widow—the first operational U.S.warplane designed as a night fighter. This is not a kit model. In fact, a remote control model of this plane did not exist. He designed the model plans and built it based on his experience at the Northrup Aircraft plant in the early 1940s. He crafted each wooden piece from raw materials, and yes it flew beautifully. This is an example of his absolute attention to detail in everything that he did. As a finish carpenter he was second to none.