Then there is that anticipation as the arm swings stiffly over, pauses and delicately descends upon the first groove. If we still had carriages, this would be the moment when the beautiful young duchess alights and glides up the steps of the opera house. Or when the angel touches down outside Mary's door, having burned across the cosmos at the speed of light, briefly touching up its hair, then bowing. Just now, on the branch outside my window, a thrush has landed. She will shake out her wings, jitter to one side and back, cock her head, and open her throat in a delight of song.