In a few days time, La Professoressa and I will leave this island continent far behind. Our dear Cello, gray and blind, will take comfort in Spottswood with his other family. Always this is a time of looking over my shoulder at what has become my home here, the once unfamiliar gifts of garden and at times, endless blue skies, the parrots, red, green and blue, squawking for my feeding hand, but most of all, it is our friends here, that I see, those who took on the risk of an old new friend, and of these new folk in my life, there is our Ruby. Now 16, she stands at our gate, straight and true, dressed in her home-made costume for a fantasy convention in the city, holding tightly to her side the suit case we loaned her for her week at the University. Dear dear Ruby, who lets me pour out my love for the easy complexities of "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" while I listen to her read the first cantos of The Divine Comedy in Italian. For almost 8 years we have shared the challenges of her writing and literature classes; soon she will go through the gate, a bigger gate, and not need my offered brillances and oh how I wish for her a world so different from this one, a world were the softness of the unarmored human body can flourish in all its differences. Oh how we have enhanced our killing machines, but the gentle longings for beauty of our human selves shiver in the world of cascading steel. La Professoressa and I, childless, teachers, stand in homage to Ruby, the color of life.
And now to you, I turn.
The blueness of Port Douglass, far north Queensland, with our friends Leslie and Louise, last month