Sunday, August 10, 2008

Okay, here's a true confession from someone whose passport looks like it's the 1999 Yellow Pages no one remembers to take out of the drawer and throw away: I am so freaking glad I am not in Beijing. There I said it. I said it and I own it. I am glad to be at Bellemaison in The Den of the Three Colors, drinking Vietnamese coffee, eating walnuts from Sud France and watching TIVOed Olympics. I'm no less of an American and no less of a committed Student of the World if I don't lumber onto a plane, fly over the Pacific Ocean and stumble my way around a major city in Asia. I do not need to be there to love, savor and cherish the thrill and the splendor of the Olympics, although that opening ceremony did criss cross me with longing and regret. But I'm over it. I loved watching the archives at olympics.com on Saturday afternoon. So there it is. Now let's start talking.

Did you SEE Michael Phelps in the 400? What a moment! He has shoulders like goalposts and doesn't part the water, but becomes the water-- the ripples, the wake that quickly, so quickly, can scatter, disrupt and destroy the glassy, serene surface of a body of water-- to then emerge in a high flash at the blue wall, morphing back into human form. What.an.athlete. He rips off his cap, uber-victorious, and scans the crowd. He says later he was looking for his mother but he couldn't see her. This mother is a single mom who raised three kids. She pounds her fists in the air in victory as her only son nails the first trial of his quest to become the greatest Olympic athlete ever. And this is supposed to be about the swimming?

The women's fencing medalists were all American. This medal ceremony was moving to me; we have such problems in this country at the moment and these three pretty girls collecting their confirmations of excellence gave me such respite, such relief, from the despair and degradation that is currently the state of the USA. I thought the version of our national anthem that was used was just lovely. One of the loveliest ever. I cried with the medalists; but probably for a different reason.

I loved watching the Chinese women defend the goal against the Christine Sinclair and the Canadian national soccer team. They are smart and tough, those Chinese! But that's come up before, right? 1-1, if you missed it. Sinc couldn't get around their defense who were half her size.

I'm watching dressage now; the competition is played against classical music, strings. The horse is gleaming ebony, a sharp contrast with the rider's immaculately white jodphurs. The silky tail of the horse swishes as the pair move through the circles and loops that is dressage, becoming one in a prescribed dance with music that has entertained the world for hundreds of years.

The Chow Nation has a major disagreement over Sunday Brunch which necessitates me stepping to the doors to referee; the squirrels screech and chirp in the tall trees as the quail wander around the garden, bathing and noshing. The mountain ash berries begin to show orange and the roses begin their second bloom, heavy in dew this morning. Joe Montana boils the water for Grandma Jo's macaroni salad for Sunday dinner and the turkey burgers await my touch and finesse, honed over many years at the kitchen counter.

Life here beyond the Big Sky and in between the wheat fields and the plains and mountains is sweet, soft, silent and slow. And I like it. Especially today.

JBelle
Bellemaison
The 'Kan EWA

14 comments:

raymond pert said...

I think we all enjoy specific body parts over others. When it comes to men, I'm indifferent and I'm not ready to confess what delights me most when I look at women.

I love that you love men's shoulders. It's not because my shoulders are anything special, but your description of Phelps' shoulders coupled with a comment you made many months ago about the shoulders of Matt Bouldin lead me to the conclusion that sturdy male shoulders delight you.

Change of subject: I'm not paying attention to the Olympics, BUT your description of America's success in women's fencing delights me. I'm sitting here moved by what you wrote. For me, the beauty of the Olympic Games is in the lesser known competitions, like women's fencing. I did not know the USA had a blockbuster women's team and I love that we do. I will now go into the depths of the WWW and try to find pictures of these competitors.

I also love your comments about the horses. I'm surprised I don't go out to horse fields outside Eugene or to horse races in Portland. I should go see horses at the County Fair next week. I love looking at horses. Maybe their muscular beauty is, to me, what Phelps' and Boudin's shoulders are to you. I don't know...

Have a lovely Sunday dinner. Just for the record, I'll be a picnic. My oldest step daughter's husband's brother just got legally married in CA, but is having another ceremony here in Eugene on Friday. Today's picnic is getting as many people together as have arrived for Friday's to do.

I'll be coming back for more of your writing on the Olympics, should you write more.

I really enjoyed what you wrote here.


I hope you don't mind the long comment. For some reason, your post fired up a lot of good feeling in me.

:)

JBelle said...

rp! I am honored and delighted. Thank you for your keen observations. And forgive me for saying so, but I wish I was in Eugene because I'd crash...in the nicest possible way, with a peach raspberry pie, which I am about to conjure up just now.

Thanks again. You pleased me greatly.

thailandchani said...

It sounds beautiful there.

This is a wonderful post.. filled with a peaceful feeling.

~*

Lindsey said...

I know, I know, I know! My sentiments exactly and I watched the exact same events! (Except for the horses-- which I wish I WOULD have seen!) Except.. I do wish I was there. The buildings that are those specticals. I guess that is the difference between a globetrotting celeb and a housbound housewife. :0

PDX Pup said...

I just love the competition. Any of it. All of it. I love watch people compete at what they love doing.

JBelle said...

Chani, It was a lovely peaceful day after a chaotic, frustrating week. Had one thing that was bothering me and I got rid of it early this morning and settled into a bliss fueled by my dogs, my garden and the cool summer day. Sometimes it's hard for me to stand up for myself, even though I am a fierce advocate for others. But today I stood up for myself and I think you got a glimpse of the resulting euphoria. Thanks for looking in on me. :)

JBelle said...

Globetrotting celeb! do not start with me, Lindsey Long Legs! China seems far, far away today, doesn't it? I watched men's water polo tonight. Those guys are uber studs. The women mountain bikers are now racing in the rain. did you see the skulling? their support team and the media ride bicycles alongside them along the river! I've never noticed that before. Loved it. Had such a nice day today. Someday I hope we get to go on a trip together. I'll wait for you until your kids are old enough for you to be out of town/out of the country and not worry about them. where will we go?

JBelle said...

Pup, I watched someone very important to me compete for many, many years in what she loved doing. What a joy it was. What terrific memories. I hope you get as many as me only more. And better...totally better...

Carla said...

There's something beautiful and wonderful about the Olympics, even though the thought crossed my mind to boycott on account of China. Just couldn't do it. Those athletes deserve to be watched. They do us all proud, all of them.

JBelle said...

Carla,
The Canadian National Women's Soccer team is much more fun to watch than the American Women's Soccer Team. I am going to go find the flag lady today and buy a Canadian flag to fly here in solidarity. Gooooo Christine Sinclair!

treespotter said...

i still think that at some point, you reallly need to get on the plane and lumber around the cities of Asia. I'll make sure you've fun on this part.

JBelle said...

I think in not a small part, my darling, that's what I am afraid of...;)

Inland Empire Girl said...

Doesn't my brother have a way with words? I got the Olympic fever tonight. Here I am babysitting my sister's dogs and watching M. Phelps with a gold medal and his mother crying and of course me crying... and the US men's gymnastics team... wow...I was going to go to bed early!

JBelle said...

Your brother has a really special, lovely way with words. :) But it's his generosity with all that makes him a stand alone guy. And those USA men gymnasts!

!