My dearest, I'm blowing my nose and wiping away tears, having just spent the better part of the afternoon glued, while doing a workout and chores, to a Masterpiece Theatre production of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Wow. What a great story, I'd never read it, or seen any other filmed version, so it was utterly new to me, except in the sense of Austen's sensibility (and I'm not even trying to pun) being familiar to me. The laying out of individual webs of connections, paths that inexorably lead once hearts & circumstances are set in motion... the surprising yet utterly plausible reversals -- breathtaking. And the nuanced observations... have things changed so much now? I wonder. In certain circles, yes. But I could relate to the story - to the heartbreak, and the rapture - very much.
So my dear, how are you, where are you? I hope you've enjoyed a very relaxing Sunday. I did, went to church in the morning, enjoyed the service, and am very glad for the simplicity of it - for someone who is a little hesitant about formal religion, I felt quite at home and comfortable with words I was asked to utter, chants or hymns to sing. Even though I'm not of that particular denomination, it truly seems ecumenical & embracing enough that I will find a place within it, I think, on my own terms, that I feel comfortable with. I think I might start accompanying a couple of Sundays from now, on an electronic keyboard that was discovered had been put away for storage in the 'choir' rafters of the church - it's in our solarium now -- anyway -- it's good, it will work out I think. The pipe organ will come later, more gradually, my acquaintance with it. But today, just being there rather more officially, attending the service, I had a chance to behold the instrument much more clearly than what I had glimpsed by chance, on the fly a couple of weeks ago. My goodness -- it is just a marvelous antique, built right into the very walls of the church.
The pipes seem Persian-inspired, reminiscent of decorative elements at Olana – stylized zigzags in gorgeous turquoise & apricot glazed colors burnished with time - the pipes were thus elaborately patterned. Their ornate fancifulness, unexpectedly rich, took my breath away. And the woodwork of this gorgeous village church - and the stained glass windows -- I had the sense, in their exquisite colored surrounds, of autumn leaves, what this region is so known for, an especially beautiful time of year. To me - this is not merely an aesthetic experience -- though the aesthetics are a wondrous part of it. But it's not the same as admiring - let's say - this church plunked down (hypothetically) in a museum. No - the fact that it was made by hands -- in 1845, I verified -- and is enjoyed & participated in, in a lively way today --- that's what adds that extra dimension - a breath of life, as of the pipe organ's bellows that I peeped behind a wood-ante-door behind the colored risers to glimpse. Not that I saw them -- I'm not sure what I saw, glimpsing behind the scenes of this truly Melvillean-scaled - that is, I mean a Great Whale - of an instrument, that like a whale, or an iceberg, or perhaps the human heart itself... one can see glimpses, or manifestations, but not all of the amazing much larger than one could imagine other workings.
It's funny - in a lot of technology (speaking off the cuff as someone who isn't very cutting-edge as to technology) -- it's all about things becoming smaller, faster - such as microchips, circuitry. I don't know, I just found it so wondrous to glimpse something - a piece of machinery - that works - and is so much larger than me.
All that said, I was also in those same moments, able to glimpse the keyboard (I'm sure not the right term) of the organ itself, and its stops. Which in my mind’s eye, thinking of it over the last few weeks, had multiplied into almost dozens of dizzying individual stops. But in fact, there don't seem to be very many at all - though again I've lost count! - perhaps six or eight. A manageable number - that with some practice, and guidance, in the form of books, or other ---
And that's it really - my day. Dressed in my "church" outfit of good jeans - that I haven't worn in a year, not - as a matter of fact, since the very last time I saw you - and my new cozy, water-resistant, comfortable and stylish (!) boots -
maybe that deserves a note too - I don't know how to dress for church -- so I paired all this with a very staid camel-brown cashmere twinset - formal counterbalance, in case denim isn't the thing -
Yesterday, with the inclement weather & my lack of waterproof footwear, I didn't take a walk
but today I did, at the conservation area
it felt so wonderful - especially after a day of not working out or walking
to stretch out and pump my legs and inhale deep and yell at the sky and spin my arms, carrying handweights, like windmills
It felt absolutely wonderful to feel so fit & connected with my body and hear the crunch of pristine snow underfoot my securely-footfalling warm beautiful boots
and lunch was wonderful -- all leftovers -- as will be dinner
we eat so well - it is a total revelation to me - how medicinal, truly, food is
so - a bowl of pumpkin-black-bean soup for lunch
I'd finally gotten around to roasting a lovely sugar pumpkin that had served as simple decoration all through the fall - and it had kept beautifully, like a 'winter storage' vegetable - at first on display
and tonight (ah I inhale the fragrance now, as it wafts upstairs) -
reheated curried chicken with basmati rice and broccoli -- because I did so well this morning at the 'marked-down' produce shelf --
holding your hands, darling, very many kisses
I hope all is well with you
all my love