Sunday, July 24, 2011

My dearest, sitting down at the piano to play you a nocturne, or maybe a gentle, slow-time rag. It's a beautiful late afternoon, the day starting out with a thick gloomy haze that the sun which eventually, without my noticing, made an appearance and steadily burned off all the gray in favor of blue skies and white clouds and welcome as cool fresh sheets on the beds that I changed today, replaced torpid humidity with crisp dry air. I spent the better part of an hour at the small north-facing kitchen window trying to capture a shot of a woodpecker clinging to the rim of the birdfeeder, but he's very clever, or shy, or both, and seemed aware of the Heisenberg principle and refused to be observed. Sparrows, redwing blackbirds, what may or may not be a cardinal (perhaps a young female?), and goldfinches steadily took their turns.

I think it is fair to say that I lead a more isolated life than did E.D. Hers seems positively outgoing compared to mine. How did I get so stuck? She had family around her, even if they, each member - very smartly - revolved in circumscribed orbits around one another, each personage an individual planet that could, as exigencies arose, divert from the timeworn mechanical, adjust by rhythm and circuit to allow for the maximization, no individual's light ever going out, of each personage's autonomous, desperate passage.

Maybe she wrote letters to the world that never wrote her back - but she wrote letters to others, too - and they responded.

I did correspond over the weekend with My Friend in Finland, so I shouldn't be imprecise.

13 July 2011, Belle to F.
... The extreme heat broke, it's a bit cooler now - tolerable. I must go out and water the flower beds now. Then I will make a salsa - made of chopped tomato, jalapeno pepper, white or red onion, EV olive oil,fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro from the CSA. The salsa is all an elaborate excuse to get to the cilantro. It's refreshing, delicious stuff, J, I don't know if you have it in Finland at all (salsa is Mexican, originally) - it's awesome as a dip with tortilla chips, or even as a topping for a plain white fish... yours truly & warmly
13 July 2011, M.F. in F. to Belle
Dear Belle, I wrote yesterday this poem for the memory of the latest victims of terrorism in Norway... Yours truly & warmly
13 July, Belle to M.F. in F.
That's very beautifully written, J. I greatly appreciate the sentiments. They can't be said often enough - indeed, they need to be said again & again. Too many people seem to have lost touch, forgotten the primordial, with what connects us, with the mystery.... Amazing to me the evil that's perpetuated in the name of "God."

No Holy Wars for me.

To quote the title of a song that played on the radio here a little while ago,

"Peace, Love, and Barbecue."

And with that - to my salsa (with a small clove of minced garlic too).

Y, t & w

So darling, that's about it for now. I suppose I find myself comparing/contrasting my life with E.D.'s since I'm immersed in Richard Sewall's excellent biography. I turn my head now from the computer screen (I'm as champion a typist as I am a competent piano player, can type/play without looking), glance over at the tome sitting on my desk, with the haunting iconic daguerrotype image of her, her hair parted in the middle pulled back in a bun. My own hair is pulled back in a bun, though I part my hair on the side.

(It was so strange going through photos yesterday, so quickly, riffling through in specific search, but encountering epochs and eras of my life in shuffled fashion - not exactly my 'life flashing before my eyes' - but feeling a strange disconnect to the images. One thing I noticed was - why did I wear my hair so short for so many years. That, combined with the weight I'd put on, really didn't do me any favors. It was just strange to see that. I've dropped weight, certainly several sizes, and wear skirts and look nice in them too, and my hair is longer, much longer - I am growing into myself, I am certain. In some ways I look younger now, I think (or at least in my mind's eye), than I did in images from ten or even twenty years ago. Very strange. You grow into your looks, I know that Ruth Reichl once somewhere said, in one of her memoirs. I truly believe that. But still - where did I take those misguided wrong turns, and why?

I think I know the answer, and perhaps I think of it because I'm just now on the chapter in the E.D. biography devoted to her mother, after whom (like me) she was named. At heart, E.D. didn't feel herself to have a mother, they were too different. Yet her mother had been a key agent in creating the very space & home that E.D. felt at home in and never left. A paradoxical relationship; her mother gave her a home, & lots of space... but maybe not so much (I'm guessing, or projecting) practical worldly guidance, or guidance that was of much or any use to her daughter with her clandestine genius particularness, and in a changed, and rapidly changing again world...

Darling, noble kinsman (it's 'kinsmen' in the poem), I've hardly been borne away...

Woodstock the Bird will put down her fiddle & go downstairs and crank up the lovely 'Women of Note' program on KZE, and catch something of a local poet, or timeless international singer-songwriter.

Good night darling, I hope all is well with you.

Yours, monstrously so -

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