Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"... in the sky I see the heights you lifted me..."
-- The Nields, "New State of Grace"
Hello darling, back from a late day walk around here, between storms, and the moment I got home and up in the aerie after feeding the cats and unloading towels from the drier, it began to rain again, audibly outside the windows, and now it's pouring, steady shimmering music as it slips through all the leaves on the trees and countless droplets land on the pavement and on the roof and bounce and eddy and trickle and drip and cascade down again and again, constant soothing sound, as I sit here in my underwear writing to you. It was a lovely walk too, after all the rain the creek high, rapids rushing and running parallel to the road I walked on. I pause now to listen to the rain a bit. The sound reminds me of a vacation D & I took about ten years ago, staying in a little cabin outside Acadia National Park in Maine. It seemed as though it rained hard every night, pounding on the roof, streaming down pitch-dark windowpanes, battering the pines. It was such a rare treat to be in this arcadian (never mind Acadian) location, muffled incessant rain mellifluously pouring, while we sat cozily inside, sipped wine, lit a fire, and played Hem's Rabbit Songs, a CD I've misplaced, or perhaps loaned or gave to someone, and wouldn't mind hearing again.

I'm feeling quite organized, a very nice dinner on the way - meatloaf, mashed potato, mixed salad, & the rest of the strawberry-rhubarb pie, with cream that I whipped up with superfine sugar & almond extract because I'm out of vanilla and have noted so on the grocery list.

How are you darling? In the trees I still can see your face... I think about you all the time.

It's funny, someone this morning (perhaps you) clicked onto my blog via an image I'd once posted of Edward Carpenter, images of whom I had associated with the Nields song "New State of Grace," and so when I drove to the supermarket I put on the disc, Love & China, and the other one too, This Town is Wrong (the discs were in each other's cases), and listened to a few of their songs, the beautiful Christmas one that starts "I'm so busy this December," and Haven't I Been Good, among them. When I returned home and refreshed stats I was surprised to see that someone had landed on my blog by googling "learn to love the sea" - a line I'd once quoted from a Nields song, that I had finished listening to moments before, on my way home. That was almost spooky, I haven't listened to those albums in months.

Dear Edward, if I've had an uplifting effect on you I'm very glad, I really am.

I don't know that I love the sea, or can ever learn to love it (metaphorically that is), I've been in it all my life - don't you see all the swimming I do, each & every day? I'm not going to learn to love the sea, it is my element -

The rain is letting up a bit, a car passes wetly by on the road, a bird chirps loudly near

and that's it for now dearest. There are other things I could say, such as in the political sphere - of which I should probably try to say more. Let me say that I found Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Tavis Smiley riveting and completely dead-on accurate in my book as to the state of affairs in our country - I hope you might get a chance to hear his interview (link to video here). Really, I have a lot of thoughts about the political sphere, but I don't wish to win a lottery to have dinner with the President - but I very much wish that Bobby Kennedy, Jr. would - because what he has to say is "it" in a nutshell, and his message, so incisively put, needs to be heeded. By contrast, let me mention how thoroughly useless I found C.R. today, with four white male columnists from the NYT, opining for the hour about the global state of affairs - without ever once (that I heard) so much as mentioning the word "corporation" or "corporate interests."

Darling, I'm sorry, I am simply not terribly coherent when it comes to expressing myself on political matters, not when I'm listening to the rainfall, and thinking of you, and needing to go downstairs to put a flame under the potatoes. And also, I'm more of an artistic sort, given to associatively make connections - not speaking in impassioned, riveting paragraphs the way I heard Bobby Kennedy, Jr. do on Tavis Smiley. My God, had he been, say 150 years ago, preaching a sermon from a Northern pulpit about the abolitionist cause he would have been a very important figure - and I could tell, refracting back, that's how impassioned souls such as Henry Ward Beecher must have come across.

So darling, I'll let this thought go for the moment, but will just add that I felt acutely what Bobby Kennedy, Jr. was saying, that we in the U.S. are - have always been - walking a fine line between communism and fascism: democracy lies in the difference. But these are particularly perilous times, with untrammeled moneyed interests flouting the very notion of rule of law and actively seeking to undo our democracy in favor of soulless tyranny. Being first-generation Polish, whose relatives on one side resisted Nazis (fascism) and on the other Soviets (communism) - and with the rich historic legacy always of Poles fighting for democracy and self-determination, both for individuals and for a nation - how can I not take what's going on these days very much to heart, given what my ancestors across the sea and across time went through?

It CAN Happen Here - fascism that is, which is what Sinclair Lewis wrote in his semi-satirical, cautionary novel published in 1935. Americans think they're immune somehow - "exceptional" (as in "exceptionalism") - but we're not.

Okay darling, I needed to get that much off my chest, because it does weigh on me.

Darling, letting you go now, I hope you're having a wonderful evening, and maybe someday we can compare notes - oh, on all sorts of subjects -

loving you very much

... I wrote it down and put it on a postcard and sent it to you..."
-- The Nields, "Paris"


P.S. Post revised to include link (here) to Tavis Smiley's interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. - I very highly recommend it.

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