Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My dearest, up in the aerie, feeling in-between in many ways, achey & fatigued, yet contented. I'm enjoying being up here, dinner is on the stove, a stirfry of sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onion, jalapeno, and summer squash, seasoned with leftover London broil and low-sodium soy sauce. Rice is set up, just needs to go. I was out on the porch a little while ago, hoping that a hummingbird might appear. I haven't seen any this year, not yet anyway, though a monarch came by, settled on a newel, flapped its wings, and descended into the buddleia. A cacophony of chickens, like teens loitering, squawked and fretted. Claire, who needs to be Frontlined against tics & fleas - but she darts away - settled on the driveway paws tucked beneath her, daring us to grab her. Ah, so in between stuff - well, now here I am, and it's early yet, but dusky, or just overcast, but certainly the sun is setting earlier, and for the first time in months I've turned on an overhead light that hangs above the stairs to the aerie. I like that lamp - an inverted milk-glass dome, reminiscent of a half moon, that glows presidingly in the interior sky. It makes me think of the moon itself, which I rarely in summer glimpse directly, it's too buggy to go out. (I did just that a couple of months ago and was so eaten-alive at my ankles & feet that I had to resort to steroid cream to quell the inflammations.)

And so it's half day, up here, yet with a moon shining bright; no hummingbirds, but flowers in the garden are bright as in June. Those chickens' days are numbered, by the way, they have a date certain with an abattoir in October. I will miss them, I enjoy their presence, they liven up the place with their vigilance and vocalized scampering dramas.

I think of you too, dearest, as you know. I'm nearing the end of the Sewall biography of E.D., and feel immeasurably illuminated as to her, and also Sewall's expansive, exhaustive, sensitive take, frankly, has given me insight into myself. I have my own literary talent (I suppose, and by this I don't mean to be coyly modest) but E.D.'s was in a class of its own. I am continually, any time I read a poem of hers, or fragment of a letter, blown away by her economy, concision, the stark, deft, unelaborated metaphor - (chicken) feet in the snow - now there's a punning analogy that E.D. herself might enjoy (ha! I hatched one!).

Darling, I'm babbling. I'd love nothing better than to be with you, spritzed head to toe with bug spray, stepping outside wherever you are to glimpse the moon, or if you're much later than me, and skies are clear (are they ever there, on what I imagine to be fogbound sea?), to stargaze.

Oh right, back to E.D. Especially in pages of the Sewall that I've recently read - the tome is possibly reaching its conclusions - its apogee (is that the word I want?) - but in certain respects I do feel as though I'm reading about myself, or a person like me, of my temperament. I feel a strong affinity towards her, and better understanding of myself, reading this at times psychological exploration. E.D. is Sewall's subject, as surely as Anna Karenina was Tolstoy's, or Emma Bovary Flaubert's, and yet - as much as I often absolutely do find truth "to be in fiction" - I don't feel as close to those fictional literary heroines, proximately understood, than I do - at this moment, or these days – to this young woman (she was always essentially young, she died at age 56) who felt herself - in between things in some sense, immersed in others - but not, certainly, in some established groove, hewing, ostensibly originally, but steeped, avatar of one's time, in hypocrisies, unable, quite, to see above its conventions.

I am the Belle of my own life, as I write my own story, who various characters in it have meant to me, and why. And I feel shifting perspectives, like the moon, rising sometimes (just now for all I know, right behind me) in the east at this hour, illuminating through the windows in black night the aerie before dawn, poised like a golfball in blue firmament some bright mornings.

I feel a tidal pull, and better understanding, towards

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