Sunday, December 25, 2005

From New York

NEW YORK - the scribe swore off typing, computer screens and Internet surfing for a few days, but to no avail; this blogging thing is in the blood now.

Mrs. Scribe and Scribe Jr. made the trip here and New York is always a great place to spend Christmas.

On Christmas Eve the streets were packed with people finishing off their shopping, taking in the window displays at Bergdoff, Sacks, Bloomingdales and Macy*s. The rush of the sidewalks pushed the scribe's heart to crazy palpitations, much the same as it did when he was younger and slumming the anarchic byways of St. Mark's Place.

The Plaza Hotel is shut down for a residential conversion, its bright eyes on the city shut at sundown, its golden guady maws sealed and devoid of uniformed doormen. The perpetual swishing of its fabulous fountain is silenced and it seems that someone, and certainly something, has died.

While the family was airborne there was a transit strike in play and things weren't looking too good in terms of getting around town. By the time the plane's big wheels hit the ground the job action was over. the scribe's pro-union leanings aside, it was a good thing. There is no New York without the subway.

The family paid a visit to the zoo at Central Park South and saw Ozzie Osborne roaming about, looking fit as a free safety for the New England Pats. Maybe the drugged out, aging rocker schtick is just that, schtick.

They (the zoo people) post poems related to the animals on display or the habitat they occupy. Now there's an editing job! This one was engraved in glass at the pond of black-necked swans and is appropriately entitled "The Swan (An Exeter Riddle)" The author is anonymous and it was written in Olde England circa 975.

"Silent is my dress when Step across the earth,
reside in my house, or ruffle the waters.
Sometimes my adornments and this high windy air
lift me over the livings of men,
the power of the clouds carries me far
over all people. My white pinions
resound very loudly, ring with a melody,
sing out clearly, when I sleep not on
the soil or settle on grey waters - a traveling spirit"

Now the scribe would like to suggest that that is one sweet poem both high-minded as a pure god yet common, requiring no expert or worldly interpretation. It makes every man and woman a swan if only they can accept the mind-wings it profers.

Merry Christmas.

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