Jonathan Koch: Winter Lemon.
Background music: "Birthday" by The Beatles.
You say it's your birthday.
It's my birthday, too, yeah.
It is my birthday, and I am glad to have been born. The ice is melting into winter lemonade all around me. I hear the polar vortex is returning, but it don't worry me, it don't worry me...(another song, from Nashville, sung by Barbara Harris.) You may say that I ain't free, but I would guess that I probably am, in some deep, important ways.
I've been pondering some deep, important things while 1) re-reading short stories by Alice Munro and Lorrie Moore (wise, compassionate, hilarious, sad) and 2) continuing to read Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin tells us that Lincoln went to the theatre a lot, finding it a marvelous stress release during the Civil War. Of course, that last visit to the theatre was fatal, but in the meantime he found joy! This makes me feel OK about my love of movies!
She would pick one up [a classic], thinking that she would just read that special bit--and find herself unable to stop until the whole thing was redigested. She read modern fiction too. Always fiction. She hated to hear the word "escape" used about fiction. She might have argued, not just playfully, that it was real life that was the escape. But this was too important to argue about.
Elbert Hubbard was the one who said the lemon/lemonade thing, in an obituary for an actor. Others used and varied it afterward. Hubbard was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and raised in Hudson, up the road, the town of my rural address growing up. One of my college professors descended from Hubbard, and I handled some of his Roycroft books during my stint in a used book store. I do love the random...and connecting the random dots into a constellation. Maybe I'll call it Lemon Tree.
New background music: "Lemon Tree" by Peter, Paul, and Mary