Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hello darling, up in the aerie, very hot & humid, fierce storms threaten but have so far skirted by. I'm prudently dressed in my underwear just in case. The sun is bright after an afternoon of brooding turbulence. I turn on the radar weather channel. We're not out of the woods yet, an orange trapezoid in the west is heading this way. Where's my tee shirt? Okay, right here.

Very little to report, darling. Went for a walk this morning at the conservation area. So many different wildflowers in bloom, very beautiful. E.D. would love the place, and the flowers I'm sure are the very ones she was familiar with. Also there were several different kinds of butterflies: a couple of monarchs, and stirred up from the grass as I stepped seemingly miniature versions with similar orange-brown coloring. There were white butterflies, and a single exemplar I haven't seen before, in the clover at my feet - tiny, hardly bigger than a dime, its wings a muted pale lavender shade of Fortuny silk. Moments later I regretted not having stopped to take a closer look. Even from my lofty height as I scaled over the lawn in seven-league boots it was exquisite. But I was in impetus iter (forced march) mode, not in a mindset to halt on a dime, though I have at other moments, along the path in the woods, to forage a few wild raspberries. (It is a wonder to me that other creatures don't seem to eat the berries - birds, squirrels, deer - I don't get it. I sample a few tart morsels, a post-breakfast snack - beautiful, delicious Vitamin C on the fly.) Afterward, keeping my eye out in vain for a second animated jewel, I thought of Nabokov, who would also like this place. He would certainly have stopped, seized the moment, cast his net, and expertly caressed the details.

I am the Queen of the Summer Salad, dearest. In the last couple of days I've made large beautiful bowls of taboulleh; a salad of farmstand corn, red onion, parsley, and a cider vinegar dressing; and a curried couscous with carrot, raisins, and slivered almonds. D grilled chicken thighs, salmon steaks, and lamb chops last night, fixings for easy meals - party food! - straight out of the fridge. Tomorrow I'll make a dish I usually make in winter, it's so hearty - but I have all the ingredients, even olives and red wine, so Sicilian Spicy Chicken it will be.

A Clash song just came on (Train in Vain) that sends me right back to my college days when it was a huge smash. This morning I heard Eliza Gilkyson sing a song (Paradise Hotel) that incorporated A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum. Now that I absolutely associate with you, listening to that Salty Dog album up in your aerie attic, so as I stood at the kitchen sink spooning cat food onto plates I thought of you.

Sean Penn was on Charlie Rose yesterday. I caught the second half. Impressive guy. I really like him. Intense, earnest, driven, has a mission, a calling. He speaks sense. He believes that either all of this is just a grand coincidence, or we're here for a purpose, a plan, that in key respects we don't have so much free will, it's more a matter of figuring what role it is one's here to play. What he said resonated. A refreshing voice, not a trace of sentimentalism, just purpose. Yet a lightness about him, or a modesty, he doesn't put himself on a pedestal. I was impressed. He was very eloquent on matters in Haiti. He went down there for what he thought would be a couple of weeks in the aftermath of the earthquake, and ended up staying for the long-haul, starting a foundation and remaining on-the-ground there. He had sharp words against opportunistic NGOs that sweep into a place on the heels of disaster and basically erect theatrical sets without follow-through or infrastructure necessary to support sustained relief efforts. Boy did what he have to say have the ring of truth to it, the hollowness of corporatist organizations (he pointedly said that he felt that the ethos of the executive leadership of some, if they're not the #1 NGO getting the credit - then they'd just as soon that disaster victims not even be helped, it's not really their primary mission). I guess what is, in this mentality, the mission, is quite simply the mindless ant-colony furtherance of the NGO ant colony. It hardly matters whether it's profit-driven or (supposedly) not-for-profit. The mindset's the same.

She said, 'I'm home on shore leave,'
though in truth we were at sea
so I took her by the looking glass
and forced her to agree
saying, 'You must be the mermaid
who took Neptune for a ride.'
But she smiled at me so sadly
that my anger straightway died

If music be the food of love
then laughter is its queen
and likewise if behind is in front
then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
and attacked the ocean bed

Big hugs and kisses for you, darling. Hope all's well with you.

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