Friday, November 16, 2007

With a moan of anguished anticipation

After building a little frame out of quarter-round, I put gobs of black caulking all around the perimeter, stuck the stained glass window in and stepped back to admire the look. It looked so great! Happy. Happy. Then it flopped forward and I could hear the glass breaking.

If you have ever read Nabokov's Pnin,** I felt Pnin's pain when he thought he had broken a cherished bowl while washing it. Only this really did break. After moping around a little bit, I decided to finish installing it anyway. You can't see the cracks in the glass but I think I'll cut some window glass to help support it.

Part of the lore.

**Pnin is washing up, after a party. Lovingly, he places an aquamarine bowl in the water. This bowl is a gift from his young son. It is Pnin's most precious object. It slips out of his hand and drops into the suds-filled sink.

He almost caught it--his fingertips actually came into contact with it in mid-air, but this only helped to propel it into the treasure-concealing foam of the sink, where an excruciating crack of broken glass followed upon the plunge.

Then something wonderful happens: "With a moan of anguished anticipation, he went back to the sink and, bracing himself, dipped his hand deep into the foam. A jagger of glass stung him. Gently he removed a broken goblet. The beautiful bowl was intact. He took a fresh dish towel and went on with his household work."

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