Last night I again attended another Jazz concert in the Albuquerque Museum's Sculpture Garden. Arriving early, I heard the frog again, while walking from a bronze cowboy nuzzling his horse, to a spray-painted sun, its sharp edges jousting like the jagged angles of an earthquake's fault. West of sun another sun is like the embryonic cell, a germ cell, or stem cell, which can differentiate into several cell lines, hence forming several quite different sorts of tissue. As the stem cell develops through the stages of maturation along a particular cell line, it will lose (relinquish?) those penipotential powers. At some point it will assume the character of a single sort of cell: nerve, gut, integument, bone, or what have you. And it can never go back, it seems. Yet, back in the strong time (indeed, the embryonic time), that cell had special powers; it was setting, caressed by applause from an audiencethere for a reunion of musicians who had played together here forty years ago.

The next day, a groundskeeper was working around the pond. I asked him about the frog. "Was it real, or was its croaking piped in?" Grinning, he said, "The frog is real."

 

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