Darlings, I'm at very low ebb this evening, perhaps a reflection of the shortest days of the year. And yet everything is very cozy and bright here. I sit at my desk typing in lamplight, the painted plank upstairs space a veritable dorm suite of independent, cohabiting feline kindred spirits. I looked over the website of a women's college in western Massachusetts, one I didn't attend, but it brought back such cozy memories of when I was a young woman that age, and I looked over the English Department's course offerings, and thought, wow, I would have done well to have had an education like that, organized thematically that is, Ophelia, How to Read a Poem. I graduated from a Seven Sister school, for which I'm very grateful. I say this, and for some reason - not sure why, true I have had more than a couple ice-filled glasses at this time - I think of Richard Holbrooke, and how I read today that he had collapsed in Hillary Clinton's office, while in a meeting with her. What a shock that must have been for her. And now he's dead. The man had a very elegant mind. Leonardo's Vitruvian Man, I believe. That - Leonardo's conception - is my idea of an ideal man.
I don't know. Right now, this moment, listening to the rebooted computer whir, wind chimes jangling faintly outside, water gurling heat in the pipes. What am I feeling? I'm not even sure. I'm starting to feel frozen over, ossified, hardened. Yes, and no. I started a post a little while ago, thinking about - oh, I don't know, I've been married for a very long time and it's not working anymore. I used to wear a wedding ring. And I lost the original one accidentally, in a computer room at a city agency, and then we went down Chambers Street and bought another - the largest size they had supposedly - and still it was too small. But I wore it for a while, maybe years. And then I took it off, and I suppose it's in a dresser drawer, probably the top one where I keep oddball things. I still have a crease at the base of my ring finger on my left hand though, as though I'd only recently removed the ring. But I haven't worn it in years now.
I'm glad for my upstairs aerie space, happy cats all around - not exclusively female - Rafe, physically afflicted cat with the magic jacket comes around. D is downstairs, putting the finishing touches, that is monitoring, dinner that I set up earlier - one pan of quartered chicken breast seasoned with sprinkled dried tarragon; another (upon which, without washing, premade chocolate chip cookie dollops had baked after lunch, which D waited for before heading back into town), with beautiful orange-colored root vegetables - roughly cubed chunks of sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash, red onion, plus minced garlic, and olive oil.
A beautiful flat package, long-anticipated, arrived in the mail today, the postman delivered it into my hands, and we - D, the postman, and I - chatted about how frigid it is outside, the icy driveway, the postman's inadequate jacket - and I exclaimed about how the package is from Finland and the postal guy was totally cool about it as he stood shivering, the three of us in the culminating confluence of convergences, where I was in the car ready to back out the driveway, and D had come home and was filling the house (or some portal thereof) with kerosene, and I would have pulled out except that the mailtruck was obstinately in the road behind me and simply refused to budge even though I right then wanted to pull out to drive to the library, and mailtruck still didn't budge, and I was getting snottily bugged and p-o'd, and D is there with a nozzle of can stuck in the side of the house, and finally I shut off the motor, and D put down the can, and D mouthed to me - oh wow, the package from Finland? - and I was like, yeah, I guess so, and I shut the motor, and got out of the car, and the mailman delivered the package straight into my arms and I signed for it with a crappy ballpoint pen that barely functioned (though perhaps, given the temperature, it was merely that the ink had frozen). And we - or I - said to the postman, oh wow, from Finland, it's a woodcut of Emily, and the rural postman stood there beaming in his inadequate winter wear as D chatted him up, glad I think to have delivered the special package. Because he delivers our mail every day, and it's the usual, usually, bills, and fliers, the occasional NYRB and alumnae magazine, maybe even he today - as we all stood together - virtually grasping hands in the bright cold - knew that this was a very special, special package.