A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Monday, January 26, 2004 :::
Endless and Merciless Beauty

DC has snow in just about the perfect way: it comes rarely, and is usually gone within 3 days. Last year, we had one of our once-every-ten-year storms, and it was a beaut. And this year we are having one of our once-every-ten-year deep freezes. Supposedly, this the coldest winter in 100 years, although A Mind That Suits remembers well the winter of 1984-1985. When he left for California, where his parents then lived, it was 79--the number is burned in the old memory--and the building engineer told him to make sure his heat was off as he left on Dec. 19. On Christmas Day, he watched with a resignation unusual among males in their 20's as the television brought news that the high in Washington on Christmas Day was 4. He returned home to a frozen toilet bowl. Ronald Reagan's second inaugural celebration was in effect canceled, lest the teenagers in the assembled high school marching bands leave parts of their lips on the mouthpieces of their brass instruments.

So far, the toilets and the washing machine still work, and last night brought one of the most beautiful snows A Mind That Suits has ever seen in his near quarter century in the nation's capital. Light and dusty, it covered everything with a pristine, silent beauty that knows no limits or bounds. A walk over Rock Creek Park this morning brought many scenes of wonder, beheld many times before, whenever it has snowed. Yet this time, as each time, there were new wonders, and new beauties.

Not everyone sees it that way of course. It was an early night for A Mind That Suits last night, and so he found himself standing waiting for the bus with a large bunch of Central Americans. Equipped with thick wool jacket and sweater, and a ridiculous looking Russian rabbit fur hat, he stood quietly watching for the bus, impervious to the cold, while the underdressed Hispanic folk huddled in the 7-11. When the bus arrived, late, of course, he signaled the huddled masses, yearing to be warm, to leave their franchised refuge. They all smiled at him, nay, laughed at him, perhaps because he towers over them, and, with all his protection, hulks over them, such that, after twenty minutes in the steady snow fall, he no doubt appeared to be the Abominable Snowman himself. But he was warm, and they were not, and he was happy to provide these hardworking folk such simple service.

The walk this morning brought more delights. The Hidden Houses on the cliff continue to awe and amaze. Regular readers will know that there is, above Klingle Road overlooking the Park, a cluster of modern, California-style redwood houses. Such adventurous architecture is rare in DC, where bricks, gingerbread, and colonial stateliness rule. The homes are easily stratospheric in price, available only to the very rare monstrously rich, very rare because this town makes most of its money from law suits and preventing them, not from business. Said monstrously rich had, for many years, used their power to make sure that no one could ever see their homes, by preventing routine maintenance of the stand of trees that separated them from hoi polloi. Mysteriously, in the lengthy and prosperous stretch of Porter and Klingle Streets, just that block was so ill-tended that one was forced off the sidewalk and into the street, so thick were the branches of the underbrush.

And then along came Isabel, the one real hurricane this town has ever seen, and she worked cleansing wonders upon the selfish clutter of the superrich. At least 15 majestic trees came down at once, and the ones that stood lost all their foliage, leaving said modern houses standing out in all their stark beauty for the little folk to see, little folk herein being defined as anyone making less than several million per. Autumn, of course, stripped off the last vestiges of camouflage, and the snow has now provided the perfect blanket to set off the dark, angular structures.

Poor little rich folk.

But nature is a cruel mistress, and the beauty she provides comes with a price, at times horrific. Snow has covered the NorthEast, and 16 people have already died. Our thoughts go out to their families.

And now, to work in a silent classroom building, where A Mind That Suits is the only one who has managed to make it in.

Have a good one.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 12:45 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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