translation from the Icelandic unnecessary (and perhaps impossible)

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Euro 2016, with today’s 3-3 nailbiter between startlingly overachieving Hungary and majorly underperforming Portugal the most exciting game yet. Over on the other channel at the same time, tiny Iceland, with a population (330,000) about half that of the state of Vermont, continued its astonishing football journey by defeating Austria in the final seconds, sparking one of the most delirious moments of sports commentary I may have ever come upon. If you need a bit of cheering up, this man has (temporarily I hope) sacrificed his voice for you… (It goes on for at least a minute or two more. A longer version, and with live action, is here — I was unable to embed that video.)


dogs rule (as ever)

article-2440007-186DF85E00000578-83_634x332article-2440007-186DF86500000578-375_634x345From Buenos Aires, a fascinating interaction between 3-year-old (with Down’s Syndrome) and yellow lab. The dog clearly wants to play and won’t give up, but is also doing more than this. Her gentleness and sensitivity are something to see, and a beautiful display of that deep canine empathy.

the power of simple gestures

A week or so ago I returned to my car in the parking garage downtown to find a little yellow flower tucked in behind the windshield wipers. Startled, I glanced up the rows on each side to see if other cars had been recipients. None had, so my first assumption was that someone I knew had made the gift. But then I realized that currently almost no one would recognize my newishly-purchased car, either by exact model or certainly by license plate number, and the one person who might – namely my landlord, who lives upstairs – is not someone I can imagine doing a thing like that.

So I’m left with a mystery. My car was parked that day at the end of a row, adjacent to the path along which people walk to get from one of the streets bordering the garage to the other. It makes sense then that someone picked the flower somewhere, maybe from just outside the entrance where there’s a little garden, then had the spontaneous idea to offer it to the first car they saw – which would’ve been mine.

In any case, I was truly touched by the gesture, and all the more because it came from someone who didn’t know who I was. So much of the time we find ourselves interpreting events as gratuitous negative judgments upon us – well, or at least I do… Here suddenly, out of the blue, was a gift from the universe – precisely because neither giver nor receiver knew the other. There was something so free, irreducible, and pure about it.

When I returned home I put the flower in a glass of water and set it on my desk, where it thrived for nearly a week. And every time it caught my eye it made me smile.

These little actions of the heart really matter in the world and we should all do them more often! I bow to the person who performed this one, whoever and wherever you are…
big-yellow-flower-1u-1(image courtesy of

dream fragment

Some contemporary writer (Jonathan Franzen?) has as one of his guidelines for fiction to refrain from bringing in dreams, presumably because he doesn’t feel they are interesting except to the people who dream them. Personally I find a compelling dream as compelling as anything else. In any event I’m about to break that rule (or would be doing so if this post were a piece of fiction), for…

I am in a kitchen, opening the fridge, searching for something to eat. Almost everything I see or open contains carrots and peas in some form or other. I give up for the time being, turn, and start walking out of the room. As I pass the sink I notice some kind of insect moving from the counter down into the sink and thence the drain, and then another. The third one however is blocked from doing so by a very fast-moving critter coming from nowhere, who catches up to the other and sort of taps it, whereupon it crumples. Peering more closely I see that the attacker is … a miniature moose! A moose the size of an insect. I wake up.

Now, as soon as this little vignette ends I’m asking myself, of course: huh? And three sources quickly come to mind, all condensed into that single image.

grasshopper editMost immediately, I am unfortunately in the midst of dealing with an insect situation in my bathroom. The water people uprooted the meter in there, to replace it with something external that can be read remotely, and I think it must have disturbed the local ecology.  It has been a bit of an ordeal for the past week or so, with several different species suddenly appearing out of nowhere to surprise me in the middle of the night…

mulholland drive image editSecondly, I’d just written a post about David Lynch, including my favorite of his films and one of my favorite films of all, Mulholland Drive, which includes a scene – viewers will vividly remember – of an elderly couple suddenly miniaturizing and passing under the door of a room.

mooseAnd thirdly, the moose is an animal one must watch out for on Vermont roads, as running into one is more-or-less like hitting another car head-on. That particular fear is lodged in my unconscious, for sure, and just a couple days ago in the neighborhood where I live a young deer suddenly appeared at the side of the road, about to cross, saw me, stopped, and scurried back into the woods.

So, some neat condensation going on there, it seemed to me.

The carrots and peas?  I’d just bought some in frozen form.  Also, it was the first vegetable combination I learned how to make into a curry…