Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Week in Seven Words #382

In the late evening, a man does Tai Chi by the river. His fluid, practiced movements make him a graceful silhouette against the last blaze of sunlight on the water.

We're at a long rectangular table. It seems to be under the influence of different weather phenomena. At the far end, three people are rumbling with thunderous anger. In a chair near them, a woman suddenly smiles and speaks in a reassuring voice, like sunlight breaking through clouds. Among the children, there's balmy, breezy weather; they're relaxed, laughing and chatting.

His explorations take him through a room full of alcohol, oysters, and chatter. (What are people eating and wearing? How is the restaurant organized, indoors and outdoors?) We watch volleyball players next. "What do you notice about them?" he asks. I mention that they're all men, roughly 25-40 years old. Maybe they're co-workers or in an amateur league. But there's something else I haven't mentioned. "Look at how they're all smiling," he says. He's noticed their happiness.

In quiet corners of the elevated park, people are curled up on benches - sometimes in pairs or in small groups of friends, other times reading alone or murmuring into their phones. One woman meditates in lamplight. The park snakes past apartment buildings on the level of their upper floors. The window shades are not entirely effective. There are still glimpses of life at home: a pair of feet in a foot bath, the flicker of a TV, an empty, neatly made bed, an empty bathtub in dim blue light.

Clouds coast on a baby blue sky. The horizon has softened to a shade of peach. Fishermen set up a boom box that plays soft percussive music.

It's amazing that this is really Jupiter I'm seeing - the pinprick of light resolving into an image of the distant planet. Almost as if I could touch it.

The dance she comes up with is a sequence of summer images: bees, sprinklers, back strokes, ocean waves, and sunshine.