Friday, September 16, 2005

Life's most unappreciated pleasures are, undoubtedly, the gaps between things.

The table just before dinner, for instance, cutlery in place, glasses full of some cheap white wine, plates empty, napkins in their rings, a bowl of steaming pasta, the bread cut roughly in a basket, a hunk of parmesan sitting next to a cheese grater, everything intact and waiting to be consumed.

Or the break after the Laudamus Te, the reverberation of the mezzo soprano and the violin dying in the vastness of the church, the roar of the Gratias Agimus Tibi not yet started, the audience holding its breath, someone coughing in a row in the back, a few feet shuffling somewhere, the orchestra ready, the choir waiting for the signal to stand, the tension of those few seconds of anticipation: your senses still vibrating from the previous but anticipating the next is a small ecstasy.

Or travelling, the paradox that the journey is almost more satisfying than the destination itself, because to begin a trip is to end a trip, and the ride beforehand is instead delicious prologue with no expectations to be dashed or sorrow that the time had passed so quickly.

On the train to Västerås this morning, on my way to a day of meetings, I noticed that autumn has just licked a single bough in each of several trees, like locks of hair, turning the leaves a most vivid red. When I ride the train, I can't concentrate on anything but looking out the window, no matter how many times I've seen the same scenery pass.

Hail to the in-between; mind the gap.

The Swedish word for the day is paus. It means pause or intermission.

- by Francis S.

No comments: