Fin in a Waste of Waters

"These moments of escape are not to be despised. They come too seldom....Leaning over this parapet I see far out a waste of water. A fin turns....I note under 'F.,' therefore, 'Fin in a waste of waters.' I, who am perpetually making notes in the margin of my mind for some final statement, make this mark, waiting for some winter's evening." (from Woolf's THE WAVES)

11 February 2007


I know that I'm bordering on redundancy of the worst kind (focusing on such a trivial matter), but I wanted to recall another moment of 'muff magic (because sometimes it's really the little things that count):

Once, just before the holidays, I was waiting for the bus. It was pretty late at night, cold, and I was alone, shivering. On top of that, I didn't have bus fare - I had a twenty pound note, but the bus doesn't take 20s, and all of the shops were closed, so I couldn't change it. A mother with her little boy stood at the other end of the stop, he gripping her hand and leaning against her knee, braced against the wind. I glanced at them, but didn't give them much else attention until: "Mama, MA-ma! I've seen her! Look! Look! I've seen Santa's elf!" The bus pulled up. He jumped up and down pointing at me. I started, bewildered - ah-ha...the
muffs. The bus door opened; I shot the boy an elfish? smile, leapt on amidst cries of "Santa's elf!", proffered my twenty to the driver. He gave me a grin - "We don't take twenties - just go 'head an' sit" - and the door swooshed shut behind me.

Such was the magic of the muffs (in a time when we need more magic, which perhaps explains [if it doesn't quite excuse] my preoccupation with their passing).


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