Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hello, dearest. Four p.m. The skies are darkening, I wonder if it will rain. In a dreamy, somnolent mood today probably due to the heat. Went for a walk this morning, re-read the geology essay in the kiosk, and realize that I had messed up my description of it. The bluff is more like 100 feet high. But the glacial lake that was once there was about 100 feet below sea level. As the glacier up north receded, the removal of its weight caused the earth's crust to rebound perhaps as much as 200 feet. Got it? Okay, maybe this will help. I grew up with mattresses like that. Everything was okay as long as you lay flat and prone. But if you sat up the top half would spring up, or the bottom half, depending, or maybe both ends at once if you were in the middle. The geologist used the word "rebound," which made me wonder if the bluff or some form of higher ground had been there prior to the glacier, that the glacier flattened it for a while, and then - presto! - the era of post-Ice Age hydraulics.

Oh good, it's raining now, nice pattering drops. Someone's grilling too, I smell the fumes. Unless it's the neighbor burning plastics again as he's wont to do.

I'm bumming out ever so slightly because page hits from someone in the eponymous river city have ceased ever since I happened to mention them. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle works both ways. That is, I became conscious of the person showing interest in my blog, and it did affect me a little - that now I had more than one (fairly) steady reader that I knew of, what did that mean for my writing? (Not much - redoubled willfulness.) I had an inkling, perhaps even a hope, of who that person might be, entirely in my head, utterly unverifiable. (And this too swings both ways - if you think I mean you - not necessarily.) So I mentioned it and the person went gun-shy or enabled a blocking cookie or whatever and either quit reading entirely in a huff or perhaps went underground. So the Observed was observed by the Observer, the Observed saw something and said something, and now Observer was the Observed, and I lost myself a reader. Read and learn, my friends, the Observed is to remain within the blog bubble like a character in a traditional novel, seemingly unaware of Observers who though inquisitive themselves are a notoriously shy species. Oh but don't you know that I am nothing if not postmodern in breaking conventions such as that even if it means (like a gun showing up in Act I) shooting myself in the foot as a result? Anyway, dear Mr. (?) Whoever You Are in the urban hole at the center of the town donut of Greenport, if you delight me again by checking in on my blog from time to time I promise never ever to mention you herein ever again. Like Vegas. Okay?

Oh, what else. Sitting around in my altogether and reading more of the Dominique Browning memoir this afternoon. It's a little uncanny how very similar we are in some ways. She plays piano, Bach's Goldberg Variations - as do I (or did, the easier ones anyway). In her youth she struggled to understand Heidegger, and finally gave up. Check, and check. She went through a Silver Palate cookbook phase. Well, many of us did in the eighties, so maybe that doesn't count. When she bakes cookies she might triple the amount of raisins since she loves raisins. My oatmeal raisin cookie recipe calls for two cups of oats - I put in four, figuring that it's more healthful that way. I could go on. Also she and I attended the same college, though at different times (she's a few years older than me). A lot of parallels.

I am getting a lot out of reading about her doomed relationship with the "legally separated" though never divorced and thus ultimately unavailable lover she calls "Stroller" because when she gets too close he withholds, withdraws, disappears - strolls away. I haven't finished the book but have read that after a simultaneously gratifying and frustrating decade she ended the relationship. She grew stronger, evolving into the conviction that her peace of mind and entitlement to the kind of mutually committed love relationship that he, a portrait of ambivalence, could never give, trumped whatever feelings of love and validation that she did receive from him. It's not exactly a parallel situation - she, after all, actually got to lay eyes and hands on him regularly - but close enough, I recognize the - well, type. I have to consider myself too this way, weigh peace of mind against love or what passes for love.

Reading her on this subject is like sitting down with the ideal friend or sister I wish I had (or with a mirroring reflection of sorts) who talks forthrightly and nonjudgmentally in a way that I relate and respond to, about such difficult, painful things as ambivalent relationships.

Rosé time, the rain lasted all of two seconds and the sun's back out. Radio Archaeology's on next, of all things. Kisses.

Postscript. Here is a very nice essay by Dominique Browning, written in her characteristically warm, sage, and immediate voice, on the subject of what it meant for her to reach the end of her long love affair with Stroller.

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