Hello darling, welcome home, so happy to see you again, that you've safely arrived, back here in my arms, where I reach up to give you a great big kiss. Your Muse has been Maid today. That is, I spent the afternoon cleaning the house, giving it a major once-over, since the sun was shining & it was fairly mild, and so I could do it in just about my altogether. This was my workout for the day. And I got everything done, just about, so nothing will be hanging over me for some other day -- no, just do it in one clean sweep, and then let things slide --- for another two weeks, until it becomes a bit much, and I'll do it again. I've started to read the study, Maid as Muse, about the relationship E.D. had with domestic servants, in particular, her Irish-immigrant maid, Maggie. What a riveting narrative. Maggie as a person in her own right is absolutely blooming to life, I'm blown away. And I've only just started the book. Amazing -- all these not so much "secret" as buried, untold, fascinating narratives, that harken back to diasporas, and to poetic legacies, left behind in Ireland... created anew here...
Sweetheart I think I will make it out of January alive. Already sunset is a bit past five -- I can't tell you how much that heartens me. It's 5:01 now, and while dusky in the aerie, there's still daylight.
I don't mind devoting an afternoon to major housekeeping. But I'm glad I don't have to do it for a living, or as thoroughly as this more often, if there were a bigger house to keep, or more people in it, especially children. I don't mean to be coy or anything like that -- but I don't strictly view myself as an artist, or as a poet. But also I don't view myself strictly as a 'homemaker' either. I wonder - as much as E.D.'s day was in great flux - in ways that I can barely fathom, the huge sea-changes taking place, as writ in a locality such as Amherst... It is extraordinary, the story Aife Murray documents, about the - is symbiosis the right word? - very deep interconnection between E.D. -- artist of Protestant established family -- and the talented, spirited Maggie -- young Catholic immigrant, fought over for between families in Amherst, until finally the Dickinson household laid claim to her...
This is just meant to be a quick breezy kiss of a note to you, dearest, so glad you're back, so glad it's the weekend. I toyed with the idea today of taking myself out to lunch at the local international arts colony, that has a gourmet local/sustainable cafe there... but... I couldn't quite muster it. Felt a bit physically dyspeptic in the morning. And really I didn't feel entirely better until D left the house for the afternoon [I actually don't mean anything pointed by that], and I had the house to myself, and the sun shining... and I worked out physically in that way, scrubbing, wiping, vacuuuming.
I had thoughts about marriage today, such as D's and mine. He's entered a 'slow' period now, in terms of work, since it's winter. It's to be expected around here. I suggested a couple of projects I thought he might consider -- for "our" house. How about redoing the downstairs bath, finishing up on creating baseboards for gaps in the downstairs? All that costs money. Fine okay. Skip the bath. How about completing baseboards for just the kitchen. That's doable. Okay good.
It made me think - yeah, of course I'm a 'material girl' in certain respects - that's what this world is. But not to a crazy extent. I was very happy in my marriage as long as D & I were working on (first) our apartment, and having lots of fun besides - tending flower pots on a terrace, going out to eat once in a while, even the occasional trip away. It was nice.
Oh forget it, I'm going to change the subject. But now I'm Lady of the Manor to him, and quite frankly, I don't relish myself in that role either. Yeah - I slipped up big time. I guess Wellesley was supposed to mean ---- big money --- high spirit -- indefatigability.
I don't know that I was 'more E.D.' But I wasn't, constitutionally, or in any other way, Maggie either.
Oh sweetheart, I sense that you get this stuff, as jumbled as I am about it -- I think you see it played out in your own family, maybe even among family members I've never even met. I don't know -- it's tough. But do you know -- it's not impossible -- there is hope!!!
And I didn't mean to swerve into the political here -- but for sure, it completely frightens me that a vampiric sort, ruthless, entitled, lacking in empathy --
the likes of him would swallow in a tsunami of avaricious indifference, the likes of all E.D.s and Maggies
Sweetheart, here we are -- alive! -- and I'm typing to you -- and now it truly is dark out now - but the house is clean -- and D is whisking up some marinade - he's going to grill a bunch of chicken tonight -- organic chicken that I found marked down the other day at the market
And I washed my hair this morning - and it's clean & dry & pinned up
And so I'll have an easier time getting out of the house tomorrow morning
boy I am so *not* Episcopalian -- don't get excited, I'm even less so Catholic
oh well, signing off, your as always boundary-challenged, ever-loving heathen dream lover, many many kisses --- ohh ggrrrrrr (no I didn't get that in today - oh sweetheart)