Monday, September 29, 2008

Cemetery cercies

I was standing in front of the Arlington Cemetery map and had just located the 'You are here' arrow, when two elderly gentleman walked up to me. "Do you know where you are?" one of them asked. It wasn't a rhetorical question. "We're trying to find our tour." I knew they didn't mean the one from WWII.

Dallas proudly wore his blue VFW hat. He showed me his tan. "I live in Florida," he boasted. Bud was shy; probably not as shy when he was dropping bombs on Okinawa. That's where the two made friends. This visit to Arlington was a reunion of their unit, and they'd wandered off during the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, losing their tour group.

"If you'll go with me to see Arlington House, I'll let you escort me back to the visitor center," I offered. It was a deal. We had a Scottish woman take our picture at Arlington House. Bud to the right of me, Dallas to the left. Little me between two Veterans of War - arms around each others' backs, Arlington vista in the background. Behind us you could see all the way beyond the Potomac to the Capitol. This was the same view Robert E. Lee took in every morning over coffee, before Virginia ratified an alliance with the Confederacy and seceded from the Union, forcing he and Anna from the mansion. We were linked there - Dallas, Bud and I - with our backs to the vast history of America, and our faces to the camera, attempting to preserve the present.

The picture didn't take. But for me, the memory did. I will not forget Bud and Dallas. They are my Cemetery Cercies. Out of a landscape of graves they were sent to bring me a moment's joy. Delightful, cheerful (somewhat forgetful) living Soldiers among the honored dead.

_______________
Bang the drum slowly
My Rhapsody Playlist
- Lyrics by Emmylou Harris


I meant to ask you how to fix that car
I always meant to ask you about the war
And what you saw across a bridge too far
Did it leave a scar

Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel
Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal
And still you found the ground beneath your wheels
How did it feel

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost
And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed
There was still that line that you would never cross
At any cost

I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed
With nothing but your heart up your sleeve
And if you ever really were deceived
By the likes of me

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

Gone now is the day and gone the sun
There is peace tonight all over Arlington
But the songs of my life will still be sung
By the light of the moon you hung

I meant to ask you how to plow that field
I meant to bring you water from the well
And be the one beside you when you fell
Could you tell

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Mother of all cercies

The South boasts a long line of cercie creators, whose little bundles of joy have surprised and delighted friends, family, coworkers, customers, clients, caretakers, and fellow creators for generations. But in my mind the Mother of them all is mine - Sandie Love.

Mom has the gift of gifting, an exquisite timing and attention to detail. She has always said that 'presentation is everything,' and she's serious. I used to get 'cercied' often when I was in gradeschool. A little note, a fun napkin, a special drink straw tucked into my Scooby Doo lunch box. My classmates often made fun of me, but even then I knew that was just Cercie Envy. I got cercied all the way through college, too. Even today I'll come home to a fun little package in my mail box for no reason other than to spread a little Cercie Love around.

I say keep the cercies comin' !

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kite-in-the-sky serendipity

When I caught sight of it, I was floating on my back in the pool. Just floating ... thoughts floating, clouds floating ... ah, a kite! Triangular, with tail trailing. Way up in the sky. Half a mile up. Was it free flying? Look how it silhouetted against the soft blue sky and cotton ball clouds. "A kite!" I shrieked, pointing to the sky. It was a discovery I just couldn't keep to myself. "Wow, that's not something you see every day," said someone sitting by the pool. "Yeah," I thought. "A little Sky Cercie. How delightful."