My dearest, many kisses hello, hope you are well & happy, and filled with a sense of well-being. I had such a moment this morning. I went out early, around nine, for a walk, so thrilled that after days and days of dispiriting gray skies the sun came out, which instantly lifted my mood. I was determined to get in a walk and a good workout, no excuses, today - I had missed yesterday's entirely, the overcast day just slipped by into darkness, it had never happened. Yesterday was off-balance. D was supposed to come home for lunch, but it was past two and he still wasn't around, and I was feeling restless, housebound - I'd gotten into my head that I wanted to run a couple of quick errands. He finally did come home around three, and I took the car for a half-hour, to look for black stockings to go with my black skirt, and maybe to buy flowers, if there were discounted ones to be found, at the next-door supermarket. I stopped at the fashion outlet - the store was empty of customers, but full of rack upon rack upon rack of marked down ladies wear. Our consumerist society. Next door to this empty store is a now-vacant formerly "existing" WalMart, which has since relocated a mile or so north, in a ridiculously sprawling big box deployment - overscale, paved over, ridiculous 'roads to nowhere' leading to these big boring hangars containing cheap goods...
Oh anyway, didn't mean to go there. I'm just typing, trying not to sweat it too much. Actually I feel achey & fatigued, and am trying to ignore those physical feelings and just 'transcend' and type past all that.
So no stockings at the first shabby bargain-bin - only a couple of pairs in "small" - I haven't been that size since sixth grade. So I went next door to the supermarket for flowers. And noticed in the floral area a shopping cart heaped with bouquets. I gingerly asked the clerk - are you about to mark these down? "I'm about to throw them away," she replied. I was aghast, thinking, what a waste, these beautiful perfectly intact looking mixed bunches. I beseeched her, couldn't you please mark them down. We don't like to do that before the Holiday. But the Holiday isn't for another week! And believe me, I won't be buying flowers if they're not marked down. And it's been so dark and gray - I really need some color now!
And do you know what? She very kindly relented and suggested - five dollars? Deal! I selected three bunches from the cart - $13 bunches originally. I deconstructed the bouquets - they were nice mixed, but my goal was to have fresh flowers in nearly every room... and so now I do. They won't last forever, but if they last a week or 10 days at $16 - I'm happy.
Ah, that's what I have to do now, now that the CSA farm is done for the year, and I can't go pick their flowers. Or for that matter, pick my own from the garden, the ones that the deer haven't decimated...
After my floral coup - it felt so extravagant marching out of the store with three enormous bunches - I ended up stopping, on the way home, at one of the hateful stores in the new, cynically named "Commons" big-box complex. It is on the scale of a major airport, empty roads, and empty space.
The department store I visited, which I think of as sort a cheap-version Macy's (although who knows what Macy's is these days - my benchmarks are decades old at this point - I still have fond memories of B. Altman's) - it too, was chock-full of merchandise and empty of customers.
(It's the first time I've actually tendered any real cash at this store - it is so desperate for customers that every couple of months arrives in the mail a $10 gift card - and so we buy something for around that price there - drinking glasses, socks. You're probably thinking that I'm a jerk - but for the most part, I wouldn't set foot in these stores unless I really really need something. I'm simply not much of a shopper. And except for daily things that need replenishing, I have most everything I need.
And besides, if I really wish to be consumerist - because I can have that streak in me, at times - I like nice things - I am very much looking forward to a sample sale coming up early next month, where the proprietor of her small import business is so lovely, and what she has to offer so delightful - it is just an absolute charm to buy a few things for the house, for a song, from her. A great number of little decorative touches about the house have come from her sample sales.... and you won't see them at all at a knock-off big-box store.
(Now, then there's exquisite decorating -- and the best example in recent memory I have seen of that is the still incredibly memorable, if slightly hallucinogenic night I spent at a very friendly, kind acquaintance's home in town - absolutely extraordinary, magical -- I wonder if some of it had been staged as a movie set? Anyway, I digress. But that is just extraordinary decorating--- the depth and layering and sheer abundance and exquisite quality achieving a transcendent, resplendent timelessness... I'll never forget it. And all those volumes of poetry arrayed on the library table, about New York Poets, and the gardening gloves, and wrapped gifts, and L.P. records - and in the other room, displayed on the wall behind a doubtless redoubtable settee, an image of the Vitruvian Man, that has become part of my way of thinking, my iconography, since... And the following morning, in the dawn twilight of the venerable mansard-roofed townhouse, doves quite literally beat against the tall parlor windows, seemingly trying to get in. Had my drink been spiked, the night before? No, I really don't think so. It was just a very strange experience.)
I found a pair of stockings that (upon consulting the chart on the back of the package) would fit me. Opaque black ones. I tried them on when I got home. I haven't worn pantyhose at all in decades. Mostly because for a long time I only wore pants. But now I wear skirts. But usually only skirts in warm-weather months.
Putting on the tights reminded me of putting on tights when I was a little girl, they were as sturdy and opaque as that, like leotards. When I was in elementary school, I had to put them on most every day in winter (in other months, knee socks) - because, according to the mid-1960s public school dress code, pants for girls weren't allowed. It was a very shocking development for me when finally I was able to wear pants to school - talk about a shocking change of forms! But of course - we all instantly adjusted. Pants - of course.
So I had a wonderful sense of wellbeing this morning, with the sun finally shining, though it was cold out, so I went out with my weights donned in jacket, black hat, and gloves. There are still vestiges of gold leaves on the trees, and now evergreens come into their own - and there are a lot of them around here - white pines, sculptural picturesque Lombardy ones, ancient hemlocks in front of the pine-cone church that really ought to be replanted, they're approaching the end of their enormous years...
So I marched and basked in the bright sunshine, such a gift, and I need the vitamin it confers...
Down the road, and around a bend, I walked past a small farmhouse, set a few steps up on a hillside. I don't have a sense of who lives there, but chickens meander around the place, an old german shepherd dog, and a couple of cats...
This morning I rounded the corner, the scent of spent foliage in the air, sun warm on my face, adjacent creek steely granite,
and I heard a young man, sitting on the porch, in the sun
strumming a guitar and singing
I tried to look up towards him but the sun was in my eyes, I couldn't see him or the porch at all - it was all obscured in a dazzle
he must have seen me (whatever)
and kept on singing and singing
he sounded really good
take me out of this place
take me out of myself
and then he strummed really hard and belted out some other lyrics in a faster rhythm and I couldn't hear him as I kept walking down the road
But just hearing him sing like that
coming upon him so unexpectedly, serendipitously
there he was
and there I was
on my return (because I have to circle back, since a tree fell blocking a shortcut back)
he was gone off the porch
I'll probably never hear him again
I'd never heard or seen him before
He wasn't singing to me
But I'm glad he was singing
and I'm glad I heard
launching w/out proofing right now, dearest
very many kisses, hope all is well with you
I think of you so very very much