The Weekend Dish

We know your mother is the sun, the stars, and the moon (OK, that’s the last moon reference for a very long time.)  And we know how much you like photography. So why not take mom to San Diego’s Balboa Park this weekend for a superb photography exhibit?

Sure, it’ll probably be crowded at the park. But Sunday, May 13 is your last chance to catch  “Eyes of a Nation: A Century of American Photography” at the Museum of Photographic Art.  (Admission:  $8 with discounts for seniors, students, and military.) There are so many things to love about the show, but as a neophyte photography historian, I found it deeply interesting that it’s arranged to follow the history of photography’s evolution into the realm of fine art.  You can read W.S. Di Piero’s fine review here.

Di Piero is also an accomplished poet whose most recent book, Nitro Nights (2011), was published by Copper Canyon Press, the Port Townsend publishing house I was reading for when I discovered a the “grey-haired man and a white-haired woman” from yesterday’s post.

As I was saying.

Take a picnic. I’ve already checked and predictably The Prado has no reservations. The sweet hostess who answered my call chortled a little when I asked if she thought a person might be able to get a stand-by seat.  “It’s MOTHER’S DAY,” she said. In all caps, just like that. As if I didn’t know.

Take a garden walk.  Choose between the Lily Pond in front of the Botanical Building (free);  the California Native Plant Garden (free); or the Japanese Friendship Garden ($4). If none of those inspire, there are 16 others to choose from. Preview here.

Take a seat at the free organ concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion from 2-3 p.m.

If you go. Take a picture with your mom and send it to us.  Because here at The Backyard Sisters, we love our mom.  She taught us that sunglasses can create allure, that outdoor dining is the finest, and that family really is the most important thing.

Backyard Sisters, circa 1966
(Yes there are four of us. More on that another time.)

For every perigee, an equal and predictable apogee

One night in Venice

Dear One,
Am I the moon and you the earth? If so, what then is the sun?

The moon recedes, will reach its furthest point from earth this year on May 19 as it slowly starts to spin away.  Away. What brilliance shone on May 5 must be remembered. Will you walk into the dim lit dark, look up into the sky and wait?

dateline: PORT TOWNSEND, Washington, one May evening

Upon finding myself walking behind a grey-haired man and a white-haired woman not holding hands on a Friday night and following them into Sweet Laurette Cafe.

His right hand is in his right pocket instead of holding hers. The tilt of his shoulders in stride veers just that much toward the sidewalk. Away from her.

There’s enough space to fit another adult between them.

She bounds, feet wildly meeting the pavement as if an afterthought of movement, a requirement, this tethering to the earth. Her legs flail. Is it possible that one wants to head right and the other left?  She glances furtively at him, catches the side of his cheek, not his eyes.  She swivels her gaze wide in the opposite direction.

They lack the lean, the comfort of aging into each other, the ah yes, it’s you and I’m so glad.

Not that there’s tension. No sparks fly. None of either kind.

She will let him dawdle over the menu. He will wait while she spoons great gobs of loganberry pie à la mode into her mouth long after his hunger has been sated.

She will snort when she laughs and his silence will halt her mirth.

He will pick the chicken from the spot where his gums recede with the sharpened fingernail of his left pinky.  They will walk back up the hill, no closer than when they descended.


I want to tell her, (but of course I don’t because that might admit too much), nature teaches trust amidst her rhythmic wax and wane.  I want to tell her about the moon. But of course that would be too metaphoric for a stranger I never met.  I might tell you instead.

If you want to chart the progress of the moon, check out this Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator.

If you’re more poetically inclined, take exactly one minute, nine seconds to have a listen to Caroline Caddy read her poem, “Editing the Moon.”