That exact moment

Posted by on Jul 25, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 0 comments


Last week, Ed took a rare solo trip to Durham to visit Malina.  I, likely all too often, ride off into the sunset without him – to visit friends in other states, to spend spring break with Malina in Las Vegas, NYC or elsewhere.  But he’s the stable one in our relationship and tends to travel only when I am along.  With the summer off from culinary school this is the first time on many years that he has had true free time – no obligations to career or children.  It seems to me these are the times when we HAVE to take advantage of the opportunity and do something extraordinary, even if it’s a "dad" to grad school trip.  He spent a good part of the time hanging pictures, taking care of Malina’s car and all those other traditional dad things – which I know both of them thoroughly enjoyed. 

Here at home I found myself in a process of discovery, rereading books on the bookshelves, surfing the internet, etc.  And I found a John Updike poem that I had not read in years:


 Perfection Wasted

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market-
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren’t the same.
[from Collected Poems 1953-1993, Knopf, 1993]
And in a serendipity that has become somewhat of a tradition in our relationship, Ed gifted me with a card from Asheville, from a great little store, on-line at
What a powerful and thoughtful idea…"the exact moment"…at that exact moment, I would love to discover I have been granted wings.  And in the meantime, I will remain committed to my own brand of magic, hoping – trusting and remembering – that it is all for now.  No one, ever, will do again what I have done, what I will do, what I can do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.