Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Clearly she needed more Bowleses in her life

I envy E.D. in that she did not have to endure the sound of whining power tools from downstairs when she was trying to concentrate and write. She did not have to weigh calculations such as asking to rearrange schedule which would result only in explosive reaction. So I keep quiet, bide my time, and download photos of chickens that come trick-or-treating here daily rain or shine. In rain, they come up onto the porch, seeking shelter. It seems that chickens do not like to be wet. They aren't naturally waterproof like ducks. (Cormorants aren't either, I recently learned, which is why whenever I've seen one it was perched on a submerged pier, wings stretched out after a dive to let them dry.) During the hurricane, neighbor told D, her chickens (the ones that find our grass or driveway greener) climbed 20 feet high into her tall spruce to try to keep dry. Chickens can climb trees!

Sweetheart, how are you? I think of you, and I know you think of me, all those siesta hits don't go over my head. My siesta was to no avail today, I just couldn't seem to go over the top. Part of it was that it was yet another damp chilly day and I had the covers over me which I found distracting, disturbed my fantasies, to feel not the imaginary weight of you but rather the smooth cotton of sheets shifting over my knees. It just didn't work and I finally gave up. I should be happy anyway, right? No, I was frustrated as all hell. Probably I should take a more tantric attitude, what do you think, not be quite so goal oriented. Ah but I am goal oriented, yours especially.

But at least I managed a workout in the aerie, and later on this sodden day, a tromp around the boggy conservation area. It is roughly around now my three-year anniversary of formally attending to daily rigorous exercise, and I am very glad that I have prevailed in that effort. It is a very nice thing to be able to look in the mirror and like who I see. Okay today at one point I saw an old Italian widow - I was wearing my nice pleated Pucci-print top, with a black skirt and because it's so chilly, a black cashmere sweater. I checked my appearance before heading out to the library. Ah! Too much black! Especially so soon into September, with memories of summery diaphanous pastels a recent memory. Because later, on my return, after I got past the chickens again, I glanced in the mirror again, and the outfit seemed perfectly fine. Nice.

My dear Yuri, I imagine you smiling like that when you hold me, but I don't imagine myself scowling or looking quite so worried as Lara in that photo. So, in my own mind, I make adjustments.

I wonder if I'll ever see you again, say, at the holidays. It will be an amazing thing if I do. And who would ever know that you will have, more than anyone else on this earth let alone at that house, been filled in on some nutty level each & every day (just about) throughout the course of the year? Ah, I wish I could learn the same of you, but I'm resigned. I get it, from those Master letters of E.D.'s that I relate to all too well. Master never tells her why.

I'm glad that my Masters give me kisses via Pierre Bonnard virtual postage stamps, and datelines from Mountain Time, or when in Kansas - Central.

Silliest post ever, darling, I suppose I'm riffing on how much I relate to E.D., now that I've resumed reading Sewall's sensitive and psychologically astute account. She might choose not to come downstairs - but people - Master included - came over.

From Richard B. Sewall, Life of Emily Dickinson, pp. 510-511:
To put the letter in its setting: Bowles had apparently just visited the Dickinsons (the suggested date of the letter is "about 1877"), had hesitated between borrowing a book about Theophilus Parsons and borrowing a copy of "Junius" -- or perhaps they had been offered him as gifts. This is the time when, according to a familiar story, Emily had at first declined to see him, and he had shouted upstairs, "Emily, you damned rascal! No more of this nonsense! I've traveled all the way from Springfield to see you. Come down at once." Down she came, we are told, and was charming and sociable. (Clearly she needed more Bowleses in her life.) The whole letter reads:
Dear Friend:

Vinnie accidentally mentioned that you hesitated between the "Theophilus" and the "Junius."

Would you confer so sweet a favor as to accept that too, when you come again?

I went to the Room as soon as you left, to confirm your presence - recalling the Psalmist's sonnet to God, beginning
I have no Life but this -
To lead it here -
Nor any Death - but lest
Dispelled from there -
Nor tie to Earths to come -
Nor Action new
Except through this extent
The love of you.
It is strange that the most intangible thing is the most adhesive.

Your "Rascal."

I washed the Adjective.
[Sewall notes] A worksheet draft of the last line of the poem [#1398] reads "The loving you."
Dear sweet loving you --
yours, with many kisses

No comments:

Post a Comment