The richness of the present

The toilet angled sideways, the doorways hung low. The door sagged on its hinges and the old wooden beams that made up the ceiling, they were slanted too. Everywhere you looked, there was something to see: a white patterned fabric on the windows, a collection of prints along the walls. Copper pots, old wooden clocks, the dining room table that was hard to move and the spinning lazy Susan with its lace and its pepper grinder, chocolates wrapped in foil. Everywhere the past, met by the unbearable richness of the present. Creaking floors, crinkling sounds of wrapping paper and bows. The lushness of life surrounds us moving meal to meal, some napping too. A coffee with Eberhard in the morning before he goes, showing me X-Rays of his back on the phone. No more staying up all night drinking whiskey and beer, playing guitar. A lemon in my water is as far as I go. A walk past the church as the clock tolls and then the cemetery, studying the names on the rocks. Down past the school, a young family by the playground slide, the little girl crouched at the top looking down—and me not looking back but grinning to myself thinking, this drawing of life.

Categories: prose, writing

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17 replies

  1. nice! everywhere you looked there was something to see — describes my grandparents’ home and I never thought of it as cluttered, just full of interest. Merry Merry Bill, when that family clears out from the playground, go down the slide a few times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Christmas Eve, Bill.
    Nancy and I are lucky to have both kids and their spouses and the two grandsons and one Great Dane at our house for the long holiday weekend…crazy loud chaotic love. Great way to wrap up 2022.
    Hugs to you, Dawn, and the family Hope to see you in 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s wonderful Gregg, so happy to hear you’ve got your brood together! Have a ball and sending you love from Deutschland. To crazy loud chaotic love my friend!


  3. Postcard from old Europe. Can almost smell it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely picture of the Christmas setting, Bill and of the lushness of life with coffee and x-rays, children on slides.
    Merry Christmas to all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Everywhere the past, met by the unbearable richness of the present.” Yessir. I don’t know how much weight we should be putting on the world “unbearable” but seems to me that word is critical and the whole piece hangs on it. Happy Christmas to you and yours, good sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The descriptions of the house bring such sweet memories. Thanks for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice, rich descriptions! Not only do they trigger the mind’s eye, but also the mind’s ear. Would a charcoal drawing do that?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like a Sufjan Stevens approach to song writing. I won’t lie, your being there fills me with familial envy. I miss my family that continues to expire, but I think and remember these thoughts in the exact same way you describe them. Thanks, Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You inspire me to move past my war stories one day Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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