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Michael Ubaldi, December 4, 2008.
The woman had walked up Girard Avenue, and was clasping the right hand of the bronze Incarnation when I turned and saw her. She prayed. I took a photograph. Then the woman left, continuing south on Girard.
Michael Ubaldi, May 13, 2008.
Last October a thin majority of my American Baptist congregation voted to close the church. My mother, as she couldn't but do, suddenly turned and encouraged those seated and awaiting the counting of ballots to sing "Amazing Grace." When the vote was cast, a feckless and callow man of gentle deportment stood up. He confessed that, though he was no longer a member, he needed to say something. When he tried to speak his sentiments were lost in tears. I, through all this, was myself; and from the rear of the sanctuary made a crisp call to order.
Less than a month later a departure led to my elevation to chairman of the church's stewardship commission. With priceless assistance and guidance, I have overseen preparations for what must be our final year. Singularly important have been my thoughts on the closure of the church, dissolution of the congregation and end to an establishment of 84 years. I can't answer the question of how I feel about all of this. Emotion has supported reason and obligation: exhortation to colleagues and indignation to impel the carriage of duty. And impressions hint that even if probed, feelings would not be easily transliterated.
Still — noontime yesterday, I said to myself that I would miss the weekly rounds made, never doubling back, following the path I refined a few years ago, to lock up the convoluted building. This evening's stewardship meeting included a tour of minor repairs effected for the sake of our realtor's tours. When the building was quiet again, I leaned into a few rooms and salvaged what memories I could.
Yet we know rain will pass, forbearance an investment bringing returns upon the storm's recession.
Michael Ubaldi, April 28, 2008.
I asked a pair of geese to pose for a photograph.
They had every right to decline, yes; but I expected a polite, verbal response.
They were very inconsiderate.
Michael Ubaldi, April 2, 2008.
Temperatures have hardly broken from the forties, but in a month we'll have our first choice between spending money and conditioned air.
Michael Ubaldi, March 4, 2008.
It smelled like spring but looked like winter.
Michael Ubaldi, February 28, 2008.
Of all Februaries, this has been the Februariest.
Michael Ubaldi, February 19, 2008.
If the beetle had any sense, it might have appreciated the attention — but also, a few moments later, worried about who and why.
Michael Ubaldi, February 1, 2008.
"I wanted you to see this," said my mother, and handed me a stapled Time magazine cover story nearly as old as I. Written in a style that today's journalists would probably wave off as staid or even aureate, the article reminded me of video gaming's social roots — the arcade and its forebearer, the pinball machine — and relayed several accounts of governmental overreaction to the craze that founded a pastime.
In the pile was also a cover of TV Guide. Of little historical value, its defacing — which, unassisted, I would never have recalled — is a decent record of one of my puckish moments.
Michael Ubaldi, January 23, 2008.
Low light means — for this camera — grain and blur, and low likelihood for a good photograph, but the sight on exiting the building withstood at least an attempt.
Michael Ubaldi, January 18, 2008.
Toward the end of my walk in the Cleveland Metroparks, I noticed a jogger moving down a hill whose slope neared 45 degrees. A number of exposed trees at the hill's crest drew me upward.
I found it exhilarating though, likely not coincidentally, I also managed to keep my footing.