Looking at a volume of Emily Dickinson's letters. I read a line in the introduction and turned to the full letter. It speaks to me very much. Why can't I just let go? Withholding. My mind cannot stand to be confounded. April 16, 1862, To Mr. Higginson,--Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive?
This morning the fridge was a disorganized mess, with produce virtually spilling out of it. I intensely dislike our fridge. It is ergonomically all wrong, and I must stoop and bend (both!) to locate and pull out what I need. Getting out a carton of orange juice, if it's at the rear of the bottom shelf, is an ordeal.
I set myself to food prep and cooking. I did more than I expected to do, got into it, enjoyed going through the movements - retrospective choreography, I know all the steps - and now the fridge is a minimalist showcase of bowls and pots filled with prepared dishes. Yesterday I made (yes, yet again) Spicy Sicilian Chicken - I had all this eggplant. Today I took the chicken off the bone, transferred the leftover stew into a smaller pot, and instead of washing the stockpot decided to make... stock, thus clearing the freezer of a large bag of chicken bones, and the vegetable bins of aging celery, leek tops, etc. Also I made taboulleh salad, a cauliflower gratin, and a beautiful salad for lunch - arugula with tuna, feta, chickpeas, avocado, tomato, and carrot. D came home with the tuna and chickpeas and made more balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was delicious, truly the sum better than the parts - it was a transformation, not just "sliced endive" purporting to be salad - the flavors and textures melded and melted in my mouth. I'm already looking forward to breakfast tomorrow - banana yogurt pancakes with maple syrup - since I cooked turkey sausage and stirred together the dry ingredients for pancake mix.
I am enjoying the Emily Dickinson letters, her inimitable voice, intelligent, warm, direct - cutting always - without fuss, pretense, agenda, or archness - right to the chase. I think about her. I have something of her spirit. Perhaps there's a type. Of course there is. Kindred spirits.
Up in the aerie now with a glass of wine, Sabali by Amadou & Mariam has just come on now, dreamy Eurotechno heaven (la la la la la) and mysterious spoken voice - I'm dancing in my seat as I type - (bye bye it ends, signing off). An hour ago I wrote, A beautiful late afternoon. I'm on the back porch. It is in the 70s with a light breeze. The French lilac by the porch railing is in glorious bloom, dark lavender canticles (chanticleers?). Long bells. Sleeves. Divine fragrance disperses in the warm air. The Korean spice viburnum that we moved last fall because it never bloomed loves its new spot and is adorned with airy fat popcorn balls. Chimes ring, birds sing, and I hear what I think of as a "tree frog" - a charming croaking of what - a toad?
Plus I did laundry, so I feel very organized. Turned the radio down low and lay down on the sofa in the living room. I fell asleep and as I drifted awake I thought, and mouthed the words, You are my hawk, and I your dove.
Say a prayer for the pretender, Jackson Browne now sings. God I love that song.
And now, Stevie Wonder. Good time to hit send.