Tuesday, September 1, 2009

head to head

It would be possible to claim this as an image of conflict, or confrontation, or at the very least, battling with the new semester.   Maybe.   But these goats actually belong to the how-does-one-get-the-house-straight domestic theme; the question of what constitutes a sufficiency of loved objects and what constitutes one tchotchke too many (not a word in my vocabulary before I came to the US - I guess in the UK one would call them knick-knacks).

These animals are not getting weeded out of the flock.   The goats and sheep tend to cluster in the kitchen (I date my fondness for them to my first stuffed toy, Charley Lamb): this particular wooden pair, clacking backwards and forwards on their wooden base, were brought back by my father from Romania, where he spent most of 1968-69 - I think; living in a smart hotel in Budapest, and negotiating endlessly with the government about such things as the building of a hydroelectric dam, which they were trying (unsuccessfully) to pay for with large loads of tomatoes.   I remember having dinner, once, at the Savoy (highlight: a very flashy Baked Alaska), with my parents and a man who I think was the finance minister - something shady - who apparently spent most of the meal with his hand on my mother's knee - she didn't like to shake it off, or bite it, or whatever, in case she interrupted high level international civil engineering dealings.   The goats used to live on the kitchen windowsill at 20 Hillside and I haven't a clue why they are not there still: nonetheless, I'm very fond of them not just because of their chunky folksy wooden capriciousness, but because of the link to that windowsill that they represent.

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