Peaceful morning, darling, after a ferocious night of storms. I woke up in the middle of the night, in darkness, under the stir of ceiling fan. The shades were drawn but at the edges I glimpsed flashes of lightning, in very rapid succession like a child playing with a light switch, flicking it on & off, plunging the outside into dazzling light then pitch black again, over and over, or like a frantic message relayed in morse code, or the apocalyptic visual effects of an alien space invasion. Rocks of hail beat down, drumming, bouncing, clattering, scattering in percussive madness; thunder roiled overhead in the churning atmosphere - complete chaos. Our wood house reminds me of an old ship sometimes with all its exposures, but it didn't pitch & roll as it might have on a turbulent sea. It stood firm as it has for 126 years, solid origami envelope sheltering me from frightening, inhospitable elements on the other side of the walls. I fell back asleep. And this morning woke before seven to overcast skies, no red dawn with fierce rays penetrating gaps to roughhouse me awake. All was peaceful, gray, crepuscular, and quiet. I lay in bed recollecting fragmentary dreams I'd had of you; they weren't the most elaborate or satisfying though we did manage a kiss. You and I were at a mall, with others so there was no privacy. You were looking at bags of cookies in shiny foil packages, imported from Europe. You wanted chocolate chip. I crouched at the display to help you look. There seemed to be every flavor except chocolate chip. We managed to steal away for a moment and walked arm in arm, happy to be together however briefly and on the fly. We found a narrow space where we kissed, just long enough to breathe one another in and sense each other's desire.
A little while ago I stepped outside to survey the garden. After the hailstorms the peonies are decimated, their heavy hot-pink heads hanging to the ground from tall arched stems. I stood regarding them trying to think what they reminded me of - perhaps fireworks, if fireworks when they fall from the sky at night didn't dissolve and dissipate, but rather landed as complicated colorful stars and stayed like that. Only wet - these peonies were wet. The blossoms of my rosebushes in various shades of pink are in tatters, yet still in rosy bloom, a row of debutantes, frocks disheveled after a midsummer night's dance and then some. The newly planted annuals are surprisingly fine, erect, intact, having seemingly grown overnight. I have often wondered if electrical storms spur plants to burgeon.
As it turns out I don't have to take Rafe to the vet this morning - he wolfed two plates of food which means that his gums aren't bothering him. I patted him especially just now, in tacit apology.
So I am enjoying the positive luxury of sitting down this morning just to jot down a few thoughts for you, and put my arms around you and give you a kiss - ah, there.
I stepped around the garden and cut a few flowers that I've placed in a vase: a single peony starting to unfurl; sprigs of iridescent blue veronica; fuzzy, floppy, gray lamb's ear; and daisies. The garden is an ocean of green under gray skies this morning, one overgrown border in particular, by the frog pond, where weeds and ferns like high choppy seas have taken over, obliterating everything else. I had tried to keep up with it in years past but lost the battle. There's echinacea in there someplace...
Ah, but I don't want so much reality this morning - one can take only so much of it, so let me keep on with the dream....
Many kisses darling, hope you're having a wonderful day.
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Symphony in Grey and Green, The Ocean, 1866-1872, The Frick Collection
Japanese antique screen with peony painting, early 20th century (source)