(a.m.) Outside the windows grizzled land and pallid sky merge in blanched monochrome, ancient looming backyard ash stripped of color, leaves in ghostly tatters. Indoors I've arranged for little flickering fires in every room: vases of blood-orange lilies and flaming apricot and yellow alstroemerias licked with tiny pen-and-ink stripes of red. At the feeders a scarlet-capped woodpecker clings to the suet while a single cardinal, vibrant and pure, perches on a branch. A pot of summer roast tomatoes defrosts on the pellet stove, behind whose sealed glass portal a hot blaze warms the solarium. Melting tomato aroma wafts up the stairs. At the back of the stove pizza dough rises in a cranberry ceramic bowl. I started it several days ago and for a while it seemed unpromising - the dough was unpleasantly thick and dry, hard to manipulate. Had I messed up the proportions somehow? Was the room too cold? I wet the surface of the dough a bit and worked it in my hands, letting it rest a day, did it again, and now, on the third or fourth day (I've lost count - but the recipe is forgiving as that) the dough has risen and is light, soft and plump as a pillow, a pleasure to punch down and manually knead. Lunch will be homemade pizza (tomatoes, baby spinach, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan). And now after all the parched gray and the keeping of all sorts of home fires burning - the sun's out.
(p.m.) Started a well-received recent novel called Skippy Dies, prompted to reserve it from the library when someone in Pittsburgh last week googled a line I'd once quoted, thus landing on my blog: "It is they that become reality's building blocks, its particles, its exchangers of energy, the teeming producers of all that complication." The quote from the novel (by Paul Murray) has to do with string theory, and in my post, as I recall, I riffed that E.D. was a perfect closed loop muse of an "O" while others, the rest of us, are the short lonely sticky strings "who become reality's building blocks." I'm glad my blog may be good for something. No - facetiousness aside, it's true - however lame some of my posts are, at least I'm trying - I am trying to create something out of, not exactly nothing, but the dust motes and flotsam & jetsam and marked down produce of my day. It wouldn't exist otherwise, would it, except for Borges' theoretical library, no - someone does have to sit and write it down and think it through however lamely, it isn't just a monkey at a typewriter or a piece of scrap wood that looks like a cow - that isn't art. One must carve that vulva. On a prehistoric Venus figurine I mean. It doesn't just carve itself.
On that note, of leaping loopy connections,
(1) thank you Tim, the one who gets off the parkway to host Sunday afternoons at KZE, with your nice selection of a last song before 5, something about swinging from a trapeze (nice ping-pong return - at least so I took it).
(2) another little shoutout - to Mr. Magia Posthuma in Denmark. I'm in the middle now of a firsthand account, in the November 2010 Harpers, about hunting down vampires in Serbia. I keep thinking of you, and it's lame of me not to leave a comment on your blog to alert you to it (but I have no link to the article, and surely someone else must have let you know). Anyway, I think you'd find it of interest, or certainly relevant to your inquiries - and - well, seasons' greetings, dear sir, to one vampire hunter of sorts, from another.
Not to be so literal, but today I stood at the tiny kitchen window portal and tried to get a snapshot of the cardinal, to no avail. Which reminds me that last night I dreamt that I was somehow on the periphery of an elaborate game show production, where (as I noted in my separate dream journal) a very tall, young, beautiful, Asian woman proved to everyone that she wished to change her circumstances, so she entered and spun around in a very small, narrow revolving door, a portal which seemed to signify change. And there were flashing lights and fanfares and judges marveling and the audience cheering and applauding as the young woman beamed.
Anyway, so I stood at the window looking out at the birds. Who knows if from Valhalla God isn't looking at me, hoping that, like a cardinal, I'll flash my feathers - say something - anything...
Love you all so very much, my very dearests, you know just who you are.
Kisses never need editing, in the quiet darkness of the settee in the aerie at the Slaviansky Bazzar Hotel, just the slightest intuitive refinements and adjustments as we exchange energy, explore, reveal marvels, produce all that symphonic complication and joy...