Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear love, up in the aerie at half-past six, after a drive to Rhinebeck and back. It's been a beautiful day, sunny and dry, and the air is cooling so much now that I've put a light sweater on over my blouse. I went to see the new Terrence Malick film, Tree of Life. I hadn't read any reviews before going, was just somehow by osmosis catching that it was a rare film by a great though not prolific director. I'm intrigued now to read some reviews (mañana). I have mixed feelings about the film. At first I loved it. It is full of stunning visual images, such as of volcanoes, and galaxies, and sea life; the roiling & boiling, scalar coiling & uncoiling of all of creation, in all of its forms - supernovas to undersea stingrays to fields of sunflowers - quite religious in nature, the profound interconnectedness of all things throughout all time throughout the universe. Very opening-chorus to the St. Matthew Passion, though that wasn't in the soundtrack. The movie was two hours and twenty minutes, and I found myself towards the end feeling restless. Ultimately I thought it suffered from a number of "a littles." It was a little long, the storyline a little thin and a little confusing, the film a little overblown & pretentious - and yet I'm glad I saw it, especially for the amazing footage of natural phenomena, so pulsing and dramatic and mysterious. I was reminded of images I've seen created by Bill Viola, divings into and eventual emergences from deep water, metaphorical plungings and rebirths.

Ironic to see it on Father's Day, it was very much a father-son story, Brad Pitt playing the irascible father - not entirely convincingly perhaps - it's too hard to make Adonis (not to mention über-Dad)-Brad Pitt into a bad guy, maybe Malick couldn't bear it. Or maybe Brad Pitt couldn't. I stayed for enough of the credits to catch that he was one of the executive producers.

I found myself spacing off during the movie and, given its storyline and themes, thinking of my own father whom I haven't seen or had any contact with in well over ten years, and of my brothers too - similarly. And I just shrugged to myself - I mean, that's the way it's played out, it's over. I don't have any desire or interest to see any of them, they really are gone out of my life, out of my head, except for occasionally. They have in the past been very quick to pin blame on me - that I'm the one who's isolated myself. But Minotaur scapegoat had to, for her own survival. And they made me the "other" - for their own survival. Such is the family of raptors I come from. Am I a raptor? I certainly don't view myself that way. I view myself as very loving - yet others, many others, don't necessarily see that about me. But you seem to have, and for that I'm very happy - to have been seen, perhaps as I'd like to be seen, as I feel that I deepdown actually am (though imperfect) - I just feel that you glimpsed something, and I don't have to try so hard, or pretend -

I don't know, I'm just rambling here. It's funny to feel so full of love in some sense, but then to look at the "facts" of my life and find them problematic & maybe wanting. I inadvertently shocked an acquaintance the other day, to whom I found myself trying to explain the nature of my blog. He's a small businessman, so he didn't grasp that I'm really not looking to expand my readership - he wasn't getting it. So then I said, in awkward blurting fashion, that I actually write love letters and this is how I communicate with my "friend," and my acquaintance looked at me, appalled - in part because he's well acquainted with D. I have to say, I felt like a complete idiot and a bit of a Hester Prynne too. Another thought occurs to me in association with this incident (after which I felt anxiety and kicked myself for having been too forthright, or not explaining myself quite right, e.g., that this is the form that my poetic writing seems to take - well how much explaining can one do of one's self while someone's writing up a receipt?). It makes me think of the struggle for same-sex marriage parity, a civil rights issue of which I am in support. And it's funny, sometimes I sense - maybe I'm wrong - on the part of some, such a desire for the institution of marriage, that I feel that what gets forgotten is - well, there are unhappy marriages too - or certainly the surely near-inevitable problems that come up even within a solid marriage, over a long period of time, if one is intelligent, and feeling, and sentient... So if you get same-sex marriage parity, unhappy marriages - even extremely longlived ones - happen - how do you deal then? It isn't easy. I've figured out a way, connecting with you, to keep myself going, and to write as well, and I think I make you happy on some level (I feel that I must be), and it may be a shocker to some who have never been married - let alone for as long as we have been in our respective marriages, about a quarter-century - but sometimes that's how it goes.

Nobody, between us, has conducted a cardinal sin, no scarlet letter, not yet, maybe not ever. (People can parse & harshly judge in other respects - I've read Salon enough that I'm familiar with the arguments.) Maybe you and I will meet in heaven, maybe not. But I'm glad you found me, and that I found you, and that we connect across the universe in this way, touching souls - I know that for me, with you, things are much more bearable.

I should go downstairs now & see if there's enough dressing for salad to go with the leftover steak, spoon out the remainder of the potato salad, and fill the bird feeders - I hear the steady chirp of a cardinal, the male one I think.

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