Saturday, April 25, 2009

The chair waits for me.
A block of stone that calls forward a memory: summer afternoons at my grandmother's, eating hot dogs and playing frisbee.
Humdrum, softness.
Days of long happiness, flowers and swing sets.
My uncle comes over. He brings soft drinks, penny candies. A comic book for my brother.
There are fireworks in the evening.
Summer pools, and sunshine every day.
And evenings, inside, with my grandparents, and my great-grandmother.
She is slow, quiet, mysterious. Italian.
With long white hair pulled in a bun, she sits a lot.
She sits in her favorite armchair, in the evenings, when we gather around the television.
Watching Lawrence Welk.
She sits, that chair.
And one evening, I realize, she is sitting on a toy car I left there from the afternoon.
It is my favorite car, a red one.
She doesn't move. I wait.
The TV, the snoring of my grandmother, happiness.
I wait, and then, later, she gets up, for a moment, and I sneak over, to find my car on the chair, pushed into the cushion, a little crushed, a little out of shape.
I think of this, in this afternoon in Bergen, with the spring sun, the long walk, and the happiness of a new summer, coming.
Coming upon this chair, a block of stone resembling my great-grandmother's chair, in Pittsburgh, way back when.
A chair by the artist Magnhild Øen Nordahl placed in a park in Bergen, to collect the sun, the shadows, the seasons and the occasional glance from a passer-by, who might come to discover a memory not recalled for so long, and which gathers now in the corner of the city, in my wandering thoughts.