Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good evening, my dearest. I hope wherever you are you're nice & warm, it's cold outside. Up in the aerie, and I did alright in Chatham this morning, better than I expected. The Spark novels were in the frozen-in-time fiction stacks, and the biography was on the new non-fiction shelf, not that it sported so many volumes, so it felt like kismet to come back with it. Am redressing a gap in my literary education, reading Spark now. I've actually tried her before, and somehow - pardon the pun - she didn't "spark" with me. But I don't know, I think it will be different now.

Speaking of sparks, Happy Advent. My friend in Finland emailed me images of the most beautiful watercolors he did of candle flames - and the jpegs are entitled "Advent Candle." So glad he reminded me 'tis the season. I always enjoyed the idea of Advent, especially of those little pop-up paper calendars from when I was a girl. Somehow the idea was a lot more interesting than any execution of it that I ever witnessed, but the potential for something incredibly delightful and beautiful is certainly there, isn't it, an enticing kiss or sweet or magic adventure or dream or flame or feather or star or charm behind each tiny, tiny portal tucked within the magical whole, each one not to be opened until just the right date. I had a tendency, as a girl, to peek ahead... now I don't think I would. How could I? I can't tell the future, not anymore, if I ever could. Except that Saturday night is Winter Walk, and I remember last year's and the fine though almost hallucinatory time I had, and someone in Madras, India googled a post from last December in which I'd alluded to it. Winifred would like to go, but would like to go by herself, except that she needs the car (so that she can get back home), which she mentioned to D, who now too has expressed an interest in going. So it is with Winifred. I don't know what will happen. It's not as though the person in Madras actually asked me out. That was fun though, last year, wasn't it? I especially loved (p.m.). Really, all of it - the whole walk in the freezing sleet (but not so bad) and the glorious silver fireworks over the river, and gingerbread boy who didn't wish to be eaten, and the police car with the neon bright revolving flashers, and all the little children who wanted to hug gingerbread boy, and the music at one bar that was just packed with people several of whom looked like archangels, and the cozy, elegant (p.m.) wine bar with delightful company and conversation, and lovely L ordering a port and getting sticker shock. I thought of that when I saw yet another inane headline in the Times, about port being a welcome guest at holiday parties - yes, if the host has a hedge fund! And what of that complete silliness over Steve Martin? I can hardly get over it. The people at the Y, and audience attendees, sound like a bunch of asses, truly. Oh, but I am digressing, aren't I. I'm just glad I don't exactly have to feel sorry for Steve Martin. Or do I? Perhaps PEN will take up his cause. Inanity, though, just complete inanity, in this overly consumerist culture. Imagine the Y offering full refunds. You know what? Let's just give back the whole First Amendment already, shall we? Let's just put everything on Entertainment Tonight (whose originator, I glanced at headline obits, just died). Let's just not have any discourse at all, shall we. Let's just go for breadth and popularity F'book style all the time, depth and delving and exploration and not giving in to what the mainstream expects be damned. Let's just be breathless with brushes with celebrity all the time, and not become interested in a person's ideas...

Was that a rant? Yeah, probably, but it's okay. I'm not feeling angry at all, more exasperated.

I was imagining before I just got started what it would be like to simply touch your hand, to lift my palm against yours, and touch your fingertips with mine, the exquisite sensation of touching you, and meaning it.

As children we used to dare ourselves by, at candlelit dinners on special occasions, running our fingers fast through the flickering flames. We were assured we wouldn't get burned, indeed we weren't, but it was a daring leap into the risky unknown to will myself to run my finger through the heat (stay in the orange, not the hot blue, someone counseled), astonished that the flame though having shook and wavered in my passage, still burned, and my finger was intact, not even warm.

Darling, cupping my palm behind the flame now and gently blowing it out - that way paraffin doesn't scatter on the cloth.

Touching your fingertips, my darling, in the stillness after the noise, in the revealing darkness.

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