Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The sky is a study in billowing grays, black bare trees fanning against battleship fronts amid breaks of light. The wind is picking up, sounding already. Last night the wind was ferocious and I woke up feeling cozy, warm and safe as the wind buffeted the house and rain lashed at the windows.

Dinner is easy tonight, wedges of an enormous lasagne I made yesterday with ground turkey, turkey sausage, and farmstand vegetables - the last of early fall onions and garlic, peppers and tomatoes from the freezer. We had it last night too, it's delicious, perfect comfort food.

Read more of the McGilchrist, and marveled this morning at the microcosm contained within just two pages. He has a great breadth of knowledge, and a very generous, expansive way of writing. Within pages 341-343 I read a fascinating quote about the purpose of art, McGilchrist's subtle refinement of the idea, plus excerpts of two poems by Dryden, offered in interesting context (including allusions to the earlier Milton and later Wordsworth, and an aside contrasting Bach with Haydn), which I would never otherwise (or certainly not this moment, not today - or ever - because I don't think I've ever read any Dryden) would have come upon and read. Really, I felt as though I was on a companionable walk with McGilchrist and he was showing me the magnificently overgrown yet ordered garden of his mind, a secret garden that he's cultivated, roses here, lilies there, don't miss the climbing hydrangea. What a delight, truly. I'm learning so much, and also getting a sense of the rich quality of his own mind. It's a challenging read, to be sure, but this is no dry, pedantic (left brain) exercise - it's allusive, imaginative, wide-ranging (right-brain). Right brain in good harmony with left for purposes of his book, with detailed Notes and Bibliography.

A fun day for me, for music. I was in the car about to make a pair of left turns to go the supermarket when Stella the Artist came on, so I abruptly changed plans, kept going, cranking the radio and veritably dancing as I drove. Later, after one, 40 Dogs came on (haven't heard it in a while) and I turned up the stereo (startling Penelope who ran out of the house) and danced around and grooved on it. Man, that guy (Bob Schneider) has great lyrics and can sing fast tongue-twisters. A few minutes later I went upstairs and there was a kiss from you. Had you been listening to the song at the same time, Romeo?

Dearest, I don't have very much for you tonight, wish we were in each other's arms. But what else? There was a magnificent woodpecker at the suet feeder outside the kitchen window this morning. I tried to get a picture but it flew off. This is a large woodpecker, large as a jay, with a phosphorescently red cap. There are other woodpeckers too, much smaller, not quite as comical and distinct. This woodpecker has a personality - flamboyantly dressed but a bit awkward, a bit too large for his own comfort (on the feeder anyway), a bit of a misfit - why am I thinking Cyrano?

What else? I have been like Annie Oakley up in the aerie the last couple of days, with the vacuum cleaner as my weapon of choice. The house has been being invaded by dreadful machinelike bugs that for a while I was trying to tolerate, scooping up on paper one at a time and depositing out the window, but it's gotten to the point that I'm getting the creeps, almost a sense that they're sentient, checking me out - whatever. Just way too many, popping up one at a time around my desk, and in the bathroom. Also these awful "ladybug" things - I put that in 'scare quotes' because are they really the ladybugs romanticized in the children's nursery rhyme?

So I've been literally sweeping for bugs, ruthlessly. They're still pouring in the door of the solarium. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. I'd vacuum those up too, but we have only one vacuum cleaner and I'm not about to lug it up and down stairs. Too heavy.

No poetry, darling, tonight, just Cunégonde telling of her day. I made quesadillas for lunch - melted cheddar on tortillas, with shredded chicken and a big salad on top - and yet another shrimp hot curry because I had a fifty-cent cauliflower I had to get to. I considered making a gratin except that gruyère was $8.49 - so curry it was (curry powder - pennies - a great one though, from a little shop on Clinton Street in Brooklyn).

Why haven't you kissed me yet? I might just shut up if you would, already. I don't mean in the Lady Gaga way. I read some strange quote of hers the other day, forget where, how she thinks her creativity will get sucked out if she has sex (is it even possible she said that?). I certainly don't feel that way. No, I'm going to be - well, no I won't - like the O. Henry short story, Ransom of Red Chief - I simply won't shut up until you kiss me.

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