Sunday, June 6, 2010

juliet balconies

Hello dearest. Changeable day, muggy this morning, like moving through water, perhaps why I slept in til nearly nine. I lay awake from about three a.m. to six, naked in the darkness, thrashing a bit - too cool with just the topsheet, too warm with the duvet - listening to song after song very low on the boombox. I know the KZE Book of Hours. At three a.m. the lawyerly contest rules come on, delivered in a male voice in what I think of as a Canadian accent. At each hour following (as throughout the day) a sonorous elderly gentleman's voice intones "celebrating musical diversity... mid-Hudson Valley, Litchfield Hills." Jerrice advertises her program, later, Raissa, and Rick. I would shut off the radio as I ought, give my brain a rest, but I'm listening for, say, the Marshall Crenshaw lilting waltz song I love, or Stella the Artist, or I Can See the Pines Are Dancing - I scored on that one this morning, haven't heard it in long while, so I rolled on my back and listened and turned up the volume (by readjusting my head on the pillow) and thought of you, or the man I had seen in a lighted window across the way in Brooklyn that night that I watched the cedar deodoras dancing.

Light broke behind shaded windows and baby starlings coming up fast beneath rotted boards of the juliet balcony outside the window began to squall. At six I reached to the floor and shut off the radio. A long cinematic dream followed, much of which over my morning coffee I was able to remember and set down. Is it such a surprise that I slept late?

Late afternoon now and I'm back from a walk, which I timed for after a squall though I was still spritzed with a sunshower. A cold front is moving in. Now it's blue skies, big white clouds, and it's feeling drier and more comfortable.

On my walk along the meadow towards the mountains capped with roiling clouds I imagined that I was with you and that we were in Tuscany. I went to the movies today, Letters to Juliet, with Vanessa Redgrave and Amanda Seyfried. It's been at the cinema here three weekends now, and today the weather was unpleasant enough that I was in the mood to go. It's gotten mixed reviews and it was pretty much as I expected: the dialogue wasn't very well written and the characterizations were two-dimensional. But I still enjoyed it. It was a great pleasure to see the two actresses, I enjoyed a vicarious scenic trip to Verona and Tuscany, and the romantic story had an intriguing and delightful twist, the discovery of a letter from a lovelorn of fifty years ago.

I was curious to see the movie but also a little hesitant, because the story reminds me of you and me. A central narrative thread involves the search for the Redgrave character's first love, a then-young Italian who proposed to the girl visiting from England, and whom she hasn't seen in 50 years. The movie (unlike Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet) has a happy ending. A very lovely aspect of it too, is that the Redgrave character's lost love is played by her real-life husband, with whom Redgrave has been married for some years now. They rediscovered each other and married in the mid-nineties after being apart for many years. They met in the early sixties (on the film set of Camelot no less - his Lancelot to her Guinevere), had a baby son together, parted for whatever reasons destiny had in for them, and were finally able to reunite. Or whatever the particulars of their extraordinary tale is. I do hope a memoir is in the works.

In the dark theatre, story unfolding onscreen, I felt connected to the story (the indie version in my head) and my eyes streamed. Neurotically I fished in my handbag for sunglasses (oh good), preparing for the moment over an hour hence when I would leave, eyes swollen, red, blinking against whatever the light - stormy, gray, or sunny - that I might face in the parking lot of the strip mall cinema.

Now it's past six, Jerrice is on with her lovely show, and I can hardly believe that it's gotten so cool that I've fished a sweater out of the closet. Not the pink cashmere one I wore so much over winter, but a white cotton Liz Claiborne pullover I bought many, many years ago on a sales rack at Macy's, which for the first few years I ever owned it I felt frustrated that I had rare occasion to wear. I was always (rightly) trying to save it, because it's pure white and I didn't want to spot it. In the Northeast (unlike California, say) summer sweaters aren't so necessary. But this warhorse sweater has earned its keep in the very few occasions every year (in the interval between Memorial Day and Labor Day) when it makes its particular, perfectly useful appearance. I don't wear it. I throw it over my shoulders, where it sits now as I type, a ritual white robe, the perfect garment that stays my restless thrashing for a comfortable temperature...


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  2. Ginger, thanks for your very kind comments and your interest in my blog. As part of my "creative process" I would like for my blog to speak for itself - ambiguities and all. I think that's part of it, at least for me - that allows me freedom, poetic license, to write whatever I wish in my "purloined letter" to the world (hidden in plain sight). But of course - you are welcome to read into it whatever you wish! Thanks again, Ginger!

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