message from Belle, 1 February 2011
Kochani - Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much I enjoyed myself visiting with you guys this weekend. Thank you so much for inviting me and clearing the couch so I could sleep over! ;-) D has been very, very appreciative of the kielbasa and ham you sent me home with...I really enjoyed talking to you, M, and getting to know you better. I do hope you'll come up sometime - I'd love to have you, or we can meet someplace, or whatever. Here's the link to the website of the radio station I was telling you about... I hope you two are doing well... Love, Belle***
P.S., M, - if you do ever come up - I can't say that I could show you how to sew (I'm a rank amateur myself!) but there is a very cool shop up here that I enjoy going to. They manufacture very high-end home furnishings (linens, slipcovers, decorative pillows, curtains, etc.) for the likes of the Sund---- catalog and Bergd---. All obviously out of my price range - but alas, my taste! (So pesky - that disconnect.) Anyway, up in their dimly lit attic, they sell remnants, mostly for $1 per pound, with longer bolts priced a little higher, but still - very sharply discounted. I'm like a kid in a candy shop in that attic, with all the incredibly beautiful fabrics to be had for a song. I've made a lot of stuff for the house from these finds - for next to nothing. So anyway if/when you do visit - we could stop by there if you like. And also, to [stop into the garden nursery you expressed interest in]...
Message from M to Belle, 11 April 2011
Hi Belle - Meant to send you a thoughtful response - but life took over.***
Today is the 71st anniversary of [your father's family's] deportation to Siberia.
more later, dearest, I just have to get it out of my system, and it is a topic I have thought about, and will possibly post about a bit, digging into my archives of emails and online skirmishes on the Times and Salon...
I'm still feeling - how can a message from her of all people, have an upsetting effect on me? I do not wish to cede her such power.
Let me conclude with this. In an effort to calm myself down and feel even-keeled again, I opened the photo I possess of you peeling a clementine. I studied your beloved profile, zoomed in on your beautiful hands, a study in fingers opening the orange sphere (I thought of Emily Dickinson's words to her lover.... open me carefully). I focused in on your hands, isolated and enlarged them until they were the size of mine, and I touched the screen, the back of your perfect occupied hand, encircling the fruit, and I felt very comforted, soothed, and calmed.
I will post a bit related to this topic tomorrow, I have some bits & pieces gathering that I'd like to put down. I think I can promise this - housecleaning & a bout of cooking for the time being are behind me. So I can devote myself.
I hope all is well with you, darling.