When the saints go marching in

Softly the deer who live behind our house burrow down in a patch of green at night, and in the morning appear outside the abandoned house next door like figurines. The house has been abandoned for three years since it went to auction and the new owners now want to tear it down and put three new ones in its place. But it’s tied up with the city and architect, all the greed and bureaucracy that comes with large projects.

In the morning I walk to the lake to shake off what patterns I can’t undo from home, the four or five topics my mind returns to—outside the world is so much bigger on foot, without the distraction of a phone—and I come back revived, reminded of the natural world and the feel of the wind, the scent of fallen branches, what’s in bloom.

Charlotte’s a Purple Belt now with her musical recorder, having passed the latest test, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” She was at the kitchen island when I got home from work, said she wanted to play it for me—I said I need to get settled first, and when I did she demonstrated each of the notes, the fingering, the F-sharp, the A, the G: and how I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in.


Photo by Loren Chasse, Portland: song reference by Louis Armstrong, New Orleans.

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in Memoir, prose and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to When the saints go marching in

  1. Walk it off. It’s funny that something as simple as taking a walk outdoors is vital. “…shake off what patterns I can’t undo from home” rings true – in my very limited understanding of how our minds work, there’s some truth to thinking of these perpetual topics, that we cycle around and around, as physical ruts in the brain, and getting out into nature jogs your thoughts over onto a new path, like tapping over a stuck turntable needle.
    I like the deer appearing as figurines in front of a vacant place – – and speaking of that, the photograph is kind of intriguing, too – – is it a figure of a rabbit? is someone reassembling an Easter bunny cookie, that crumbled?

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      The taking a walk outdoors is essential for me. Like the phrase you use, physical ruts in the brain…precisely that, skipping or stuck…the photo is from my friend Loren out of Portland who makes some insane photos! Looks like what you describe, duct-taped and decomposed, so to speak…

      Liked by 1 person

      • An intriguing image. I was also picturing the deer, hearing the music from your daughter’s recorder, and staying still to listen
        I look forward every summer to hearing that instrument, at a local Renaissance fair

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Yes to the local Renaissance fairs and the odd-looking men and women who frequent them. They are my kin, but I am not worthy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A few years ago, one of my boys would play “When the Saints Go Marching In” in a short, endless loop on the piano because he knew I liked it so much (generally I just enjoy hearing my kids play to their heart’s content maybe even if it’s the younger one on “Hot Cross Buns”) but I finally had to tell him to tone it down for fear the neighbors would think we were going bananas (although someone in their household plays the violin so it’s probably tit for tat).

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s awesome. Funny but maybe because I’m sentimental or superstitious I am loving hearing this tune ad nauseum, suggests some higher meaning, but likely all in my mind (as all other suggestions of higher meaning are). But I read the lyrics for the first time before I posted this, and they’re kind of freaking awesome. Thanks for popping by and reading, loved your little note here. Bill

      Like

  3. Nice. I can just picture your girl jazzin’ it up like Pee Wee Russell but on recorder. Maybe she’ll move on to the saxophone one day. Not enough female sax players out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ksbeth says:

    good way to get those cobwebs out

    Liked by 1 person

  5. walt walker says:

    Beautiful first sentence, and first word. Reminds me in a way of a novel I read whose first word was “And.” Kind of slaps you awake to start. A soft slap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I so love you felt that because it’s that word that kick started the little piece. Scary to be inside each other’s minds but comforting/affirming in a weird way too, thanks. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Caught by the opening adverb, I was struck by the deer/development contrast.
    My friend just down the street said he saw kangaroos on the suburban nature strip (verge) near his house. I don’t walk in the mornings, so I’ll have to take his word for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So, are you telling me deer burrow under forest debris at night to sleep? Because I’ve always, ALWAYS, wondered how deer sleep at night. I assumed the slept out in the open or standing up, like horses. I’ve been too lazy to do any research.

    Like

  8. Dave Ply says:

    Your image of the deer took me to Port Townsend, where they patrol town like they own it. Instead of walks, boat rides and excursions underwater for the feel of elements. Nature is an amazing place (including, in some respects, the ability of a certain subgroup of primates to learn music).

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      ha, I’m one of those primates. Hey, think I’m going to Portland this weekend to see my buddy Loren! Send good vibes for good weather and the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dave Ply says:

        Sounds like the vibes might be a bit damp this weekend. I may have some free time Saturday if you guys are hitting a pub. Contact info on About page.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        We’ve had a day of late night recovery. At Breakside now and just been to the falls up north, off the 205. Life is good, cloud cover aside…hope your Saturday is good my friend! I’ll be in and out this time but hopefully a connect some time soon, here or there in Seattle. Bill

        Like

  9. rossmurray1 says:

    Sounds like in this case that bureaucracy is a good neighbour.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lynn Love says:

    The picture looks like a fox that’s been dried and pinned to the page with tape. Disturbing. Like ‘The Saints’ and the deer. Imagining the deer marching to the song, excavating the green in time

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.