for the Timeless.
She is not really beautiful, but only looks that way! I heard this statement from a friend of mine years ago in order to introduce its inherent paradox. Still we agreed that it did make sense. Sometimes, in first impression, people seem to be beautiful—. Yet if we look a little closer, we realize that they may be symmetrical, or have a good figure, but beautiful they are not. This is a matter of aesthetic preference, I don’t refer here to the opposite case when upon knowing the person we grow to view them as more or less
beautiful. But it was an interesting point to observe and discuss.
In a similar fashion, there are some ideas which at first seem quite great, and only later when we analyze the consequences we understand that, although they had some merit, they were never good.
After living several months in Iowa City my husband Tzvi and I decided that it was time to buy a house. Since it was Tzvi’s first year at his job at the university and I was home with the baby, it was up to me to find us the perfect home. And then Tzvi announced: “I don’t need to see any of the houses which you consider, it is entirely up to you. If you don’t take it, then there is no need for me to see that house, and if you do I shall see it enough once we live there." It sounded like an empowering and efficient idea.
I spent quite a bit of time with the realtor, we knew that we didn’t want to buy an expensive house. After being poor students in graduate school we finally had some money and we wanted to be able to enjoy it rather than spending it on a big mortgage
Finally I found us a 3 bedroom, no nonsense ,modern, and efficient house. It was within our budget , in a nice neighbourhood near the park. We even had a good friend living down the street. In short, it was perfect..
Only that it wasn’t, as we moved into to that house I realized that it was a huge mistake.I never liked that house and grew to dislike it even more.
Since it was only I who saw the houses I tried to look at them through Tzv’s eyes, I searched for one which will suit him best. He was an engineer, thus I found us a highly functional house, but it was boring and lacked charm, Tzvi wasn’t. I somehow reduced his wishes into a schematic notion that in his reality didn't reflect the taste of either one of us. It would never have happened had we looked at houses together.
On the surface, Tzvi’s idea made a perfect sense, but it paralyzed me and took away my creativity and the ability to express myself. Tzvi himself later confessed that he never liked the house because it was so unlike me.
Three years later we moved into our second house which we chose together, and there we spent the rest of our time in Iowa City.
Of course Tzvi is not the only one to come up with perfectly logical ideas that in reality turn out to be quite terrible. Times of war make me wonder about those.
First arrivals fall from the sky, uninvited but welcomed. They'd not be permitted in the house. We would go outside, onto the covered porch out back, to visit with them. Low growling sounds like heavy metal barrels being dragged across rough cement had been visiting with us for an hour before. Thunder, we knew after puzzling over who was moving what. The thunder assisted us resolving its identity by acquiring a godlike voice. Lightning bolts snapped sky to earth. The answering thunder frightened many. But the other guests arrived and the party began.
She's eighty-eight and her legendary dark red hair is instead a white helmet. You'd need to go back twenty years to see the redhead. Twenty years, the year after she moved up here after her husband, her love, died, the year after meeting many of her guests for the first time. All the rest are retirees, California refugees from Mountain View, San Francisco, Sunnyvale but none had met until relocating their possessions to unassuming little Ashland, trapped in the valley where the Interstate descends from California into Oregon. Eighty-eight years old, she talks with such delightful, impish energy, a small and lithe person with memory gaps from yesterday and this morning. Twenty years ago is very clear. Forty years ago are sharpest. She shares tales about moving from the city to Sunnyvale to raise her children and her husband's delight in discovering a neighborhood of teeming children screaming, chasing, running, laughing. She tells about her black 1950 TR3 with its red interior and popping one of her sons into the seat to drive down into the city to show her art, the son sitting beside her at the party, listening and smiling, so much taller than his mother. Others had TR3s, they discover, five of them in this little group, white, red, yellow, black. All tell about how they loved dashing across the Bay area in the little car, attaching and removing side curtains, wearing heavy coats to compensate for the meager heaters. Such joy glows from their faces as they remember the cars, recall meeting one another, revisiting other parties along with the characters they've known on the way, the ones who have moved on, either following a tunnel to the light or off to Portland, Florida, Hawaii.
I'm a newcomer to this group, connected to them through my wife, the social half of our relationship, and I'm jealous of these friendships and memories. It's raining and thundering, with lightning flashing, but a swath of sunshine cuts across the mountain on the valley's far side and a fuzzy rainbow struggles against the old pewter sky. We eat grilled chicken, potato salad, grilled corn on the cob, black bean salad, appetizers and chips. We drink beer and wine and toast our birthday friend before lighting the candles and singing happy birthday. Then we eat store bought chocolate cake with Umpqua vanilla ice cream. Lights are turned on as the storm fades to soft dripping. A cool breeze gathers us in. We smile in remembrance of what's been created and what's to come.