Thursday, June 07, 2007
5 June 2007. Cool Berkeley morning, late spring. Whispy layered clouds, bus route sign shifting in the breeze. Changes. "Effective June 24 line 18 will begin stopping here & line 43 will no longer stop here," the dates and numbers entered by hand. History of the world at the end of a signpost--or a flagpole. The stars and stripes--unexpected--high above the wide Reed College lawn. A very warm day, humid, even. Everyone has left again...Eliot Circle, shaded once more in trees. A bicyclist or two, neighborhood folks, and one tall, pensive young man, stooped slightly, striding slowly in the direction of the library. Sound of piano from inside--second floor perhaps. Scales at first--soft and tentative, then something more complex, but still indistinct. Two women sitting on the steps, one with here skirt pulled up onto her knees, having a talk.
The letters of Father Catich--remembering when they were written. A guest of Lloyd Reynolds, from St. Ambrose College in Iowa, he held the brush--long and narrow--at a full arm's length, facing the stone. Writing each character by hand in slow, careful sweeping strokes--later incised and painted blue. Eliot Hall. Roman capitals from the Trajan Column. Not perfect--that was the aim. Human creation--an entire past contained in each of the forms...remade each time as best we can...