A homeless man with a CD player hooked to his belt searches for bottles while accompanied by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli singing "Time to Say Goodbye."
The talk focuses on the complications of forgiveness. How does one (or can one) forgive repeat offenses? What if the offender shows no sign of remorse or is unwilling or unable to change? What if the offense is too serious? It's a heavy discussion, and many of the people present either remain silent or speak in short, clipped phrases, as if there's so much more they'd like to say but too little time.
At the birthday party in the park, small pink balloons are tied together in a cluster that brings to mind a diagram of the stages between zygote and embryo, a ball of cells rapidly multiplying.
His words trigger my temper, and I regret letting my anger show. It feels like defeat, to lose control even briefly. It's also pointless. The provocation in and of itself is superficial. The anger has deeper roots and is bound up in problems I wouldn't be able to discuss with him. We're on the level of surface irritations.
An old woman is in the middle of a calisthenics routine by the river. A toddler approaches and begins to imitate her: jumping, stretching, squatting, hopping on and off a stair. (In this last one, the toddler crawls on and off rather than trust her legs too much.)
The water is tinted gold in the late afternoon. I look up from my book as a dog trots by wearing aviator shades.
There's a man who sits in the lobby of the synagogue or sometimes on the front steps, like he doesn't want to get too close to the praying but doesn't want to abandon it either.