Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello dearest, feeling reticent at the moment, a little off all day. The day's been overcast and I was seized with melancholy this morning. I'm pretty much over that but at times it's rained hard and it was cool enough to wear long pants. I read an essay about E.D. and "evanescence," the evanescent nature of things, of nature, specifically of hummingbirds, and I idly wonder about monarch butterflies that stop by the conservation area, are "tagged," and many months later the very same creatures are discovered in Mexico. Can it be comfortable for a monarch to be tagged? I wonder what that involves. I find it hard to imagine that it wouldn't be at the very least an irritant to the creature.

39 and overcast where you are. KZE has taken to playing a new David Gray song, A Moment Changes Everything. Good song, I liked a line I caught, "summer sky blushing pink..." - he has a special gift for lyrics. But I hope it doesn't mean an end to KZE playing Stella.

I am completely limpidly just typing away here. Did some cooking and baking this afternoon, taking advantage of the cool weather - it's supposed to be 90 tomorrow. Whipped up pesto from farmstand basil. Baked chocolate chip cookies, a project I started a few evenings ago that came to a sudden halt when I realized I was out of flour ("game over"). Stirred up pizza dough several days ago, and have kept it in a cool spot and punched it down a couple of times a day since. Today I brought it into play, assembling two different pizzas - fresh tomato, garlic scape still in my fridge drawer (sort of like skinny, crunchy, garlicky scallion), goat cheese and parmesan. Also a pissalediere, a classic combination of gently sauteed onions (sweat - do not brown! ever ! they must remain translucent!) - mine always end up with at least a few browned slices if I neglect to stir them but it doesn't seem to matter. So they caramelize a bit, still delicious, and then they're nuked at 500 F. in the oven, so how can I sweat the sweating process so much? Anyway: pissalediere - a bed of stewed onions scattered with a pattern of anchovies and olives (anchovy grid & olive kisses, tictactoe, XOXOXO), flavorful salty substances both. By the way if your camp manager ever wants my recipes he can give me a holler - they sell olives and anchovies in Shishmaref or Kotzabue don't they? Of course they don't - they hardly do here (except for bland supermarket versions or exorbitantly priced "gourmet" shop prizes) in the hinterland of the Upper Hudson Valley. Which is why the occasional trip to Sahadi on Atlantic Avenue is a necessity - at least for the way I cook, with goat cheese, olives, couscous, walnuts, almonds, and the like - all incredibly overpriced up here, and completely reasonable at that compact Lebanese plankfloored storefront.

A Johnny Cash song is on now. I was reading more of the Brenda Wineapple volume on the friendship between E.D. and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The biographer intersperses E.D.'s verses in her text, and as I read the cadences of the poems felt familiar. I thought, Johnny Cash lyrics have the same spare modern simplicity - I Walk the Line. E.D. might have composed that lyric, or poem. Maybe I'll flesh out that thought some other time.

Speaking of books, yours comes out shortly - why can't I find an image of the cover? Is there a mystery? Well, okay, it hasn't been "released" yet. Years ago I told one of my brothers about a set of reports that I had written for a city agency, and how they were about to be released. My brother, an attorney, was puzzled by the word - "released" - what is that? Didn't compute. Published, when the government is good and ready to publish.

I am going to let this fly, darling. I miss you very much, as completely ridiculous as that is to say. I hope all is well with you.

A Moment Changes Everything. Hitting send. Love you darling.

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