Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hi sweetheart
So - coincidentally - moments after I launched my post yesterday afternoon, I received a message from my lunch date - saying it was nice for him to meet me - and asking me out for today - ah, so there was (or is) to be a 'to be continued...'

but our date got canceled because of a freak snowstorm
on Leap Year Day
it wasn't meant to be, not for today anyway -
but it seems there may be another encounter to look forward to...

Have a safe trip darling - indeed, putting my arms around you and wishing you bon voyage, I wonder where you're headed this time. I wonder how you all are doing, any quarter at all of the family -- I have not had the slightest bit of news, contact, or anything, since the T'town visit on Xmas Day. Ah well, so it goes.

Sweetheart, I'm tired right now. I had a nice day, despite starting the day looking forward to a date that had to get canceled -- and it's hardly snowed at all the entire winter, not since Halloween! With all that time on my hands after all, I managed a trifecta -- and so I feel back on track on my usual routines. I was especially glad to do a good pilates workout today, my first since Saturday -- I don't want to backslide on them, too easy to do -- I really do have to do them 4-5 times a week, to keep limber, toned, able to balance on one foot, no hands, my other leg up in the air.

I went to the church in the afternoon, walked down the crystalline road, silent except for the crunch of my bootfall. All manner of birds twittering and flying about in the winter storm. Our feeders are empty, and birds flock to them. I texted D asking him to pick up more seed. Always running out...

And that's it, really, sweetheart, for this evening. I suppose I'm in a little bit of a pensive mood, feeling between things. So it does seem that he & I hit it off yesterday, enough I mean, that he immediately asked me out again. Which is so nice, and I look forward to seeing him again, and getting to know him a little better. Though I realize that's no guarantee of a third date -- but I don't mean to leap ahead of myself (on this day, the 29th). But still. Oh anyway, it just raises the question again I have in my mind, about my blog, if we should hit it off, start seeing each other for real - how shall I manage my blog? I might wish to discontinue it. I know - that sounds draconian. But honestly, if I cut off a huge area of subject matter that I'm obviously thinking a lot about -- that doesn't leave much to write about here, and I'm not a "faker" that way. But I wish to protect privacies, and confidences -- and almost very especially -- I don't wish to seriously see someone, be involved with him, and somehow then just "use" him as material or content for my blog. So darling(s), I'm just telling you, if at some point I discontinue the blog -- you'll know why, and I hope you'll understand. I just want to be fair & real about it. It's one thing to wear my heart on my sleeve -- but it takes another turn entirely when someone else -- someone real -- corporeal -- is involved.

Besides, I'd really like to try horseback riding... sometime.

Many kisses dearest - safe journey -- or I suppose that's behind you, safe happy arrival & settle in comfortably and "cozily" wherever you are... it's a great nite for it.

CL posting, this morning
Good nite to be cozy - 53 (Berkshires)
Wouldn't it be nice to be snuggling watching a movie together tonight....
email messages, in response
Belle to Berkshiretraveler46
oh B - is that you?

Berkshiretraveler46 to Belle
I wish

Belle to Berkshiretraveler46
I'm glad it wasn't B --
he & I were supposed to be "cozy tonight"
except for the storm
good luck!

Berkshiretraveler46 to Belle
I could get there

Belle to Berkshiretraveler46
aww, thanks for the offer
I'm just glad... you *weren't* B --
that he can wait a day or two - for coziness

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

La Dolce Vita

Hi sweetheart, a quick post, a little early, my day is a little thrown off after a lovely lunch with a couple of glasses of red wine. I had a nice time, I have no idea what if anything will happen, but he was a nice guy, good company, good-looking, very interesting. I would never have "in advance" described him as my type, yet I found him intriguing, calm, rugged; he's a strong individualist, rides horses, reads ancient history. It was my first time in a pickup. He's very "country" that way, but not in a redneck kind of way, or even politically right-wing, and also not gentrified weekender country. Kind of Hemingwayesque, maybe, without the macho braggadocio. Interesting. Very different for me. We had an awfully nice lunch, sharing a bottle of red wine, wood-fired pizza, and salad, talking about this and that, meandering from topic to topic genially. Was there "heat"? I don't know, but I don't know that that was what the encounter was about, not so directly and immediately, anyway. Maybe I'll hear from him again, maybe I won't... either way, it was a very pleasant lunch and I'm glad to have met such an unusual, intelligent, and interesting man who knows how to live life fully and richly (without running roughshod).

Such a beautiful day today, the sun is blazing and the air is on the mild side. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow some, so I am savoring this day as a precious preview of spring, soon to be snatched away, until it's time for it, for real. Two-and-a-half weeks to Daylight Savings Time! So it's coming...

Solid, simple, no gimmicks, bright, good-humored. Nice qualities, excellent ones, in a man. I can't help but contrast this date with the one the other day, which had all this hyperbolic writerly brouhaha running up to it and then fizzled. Even if nothing at all whatsoever happens with this guy today -- I will not have felt slighted, as I did the other day. That man really got off with a cheap date, that walk, and it wasn't to my best advantage, and it might have been nice to break bread together, or have coffee -- but no. So for his veneer toniness, he really lacked finesse in the end. And this guy today -- genial, easygoing, relaxed, gracious, come-what-may -- natural, good manners: finesse.

Darling, that's all I have I think for today. I'm going to go outside in the sun now, with a highly decadent glass of wine, and sit on the porch, and just bask in the rays, and be very grateful for the sunshine, and the opportunity to have some new experiences, and meet interesting people, even if I endure a few knocks here & then. But today wasn't one of them, whatever happens. It was a really, really nice date. And man, that "Dolce Vita" pizza - with prosciutto, gorgonzola, figs, and spinach -- is delicious.

Kisses you. If you posted on CL I would totally answer your ad and maybe we could go out for a pie too...


Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Sweetheart, I am up here in the aerie, having put down my ping-pong paddle from a quick round on CL, responding to a posting that was clear to me - from get-go - would go nowhere -- and that was all, begun & finished - in the last hour. The drier is squeaking, it contains jeans. Chicken roasts in the oven; butternut squash, from a last-summer farmstand, is melting in a saucepan, brussel-sprouts (2/$4 this week) set up in another.

I have always loved pingpong. And verbal pingpong is the best. Actually - it's funny -- I'm quickwitted that way in writing/typing. I don't have to "breathe" or contend with aches & pains, or other concerns -- such as an accessory malfunction on my lame date yesterday -- my brand-new hair clips - didn't hold my hair -- so my hair was slipping out the whole while we walked, and I looked a mess. (Also - should I have worn a short jacket? To show off my legs? And if anything I only looked a little bit more - let's say, padded - because I was freaking padded -- his last email was some promise of a romantic "outdoor fire" so I was like -- man, I'm going to freeze to death, so I'm leaving on my stockings under my snug jeans, and I'm putting a couple of layers ('snugtee' and black cashmere top) beneath my sexy filmy 'peasant top' ---).

So yeah, I was a bit padded, feeling a bit like a kid in a snowsuit, not exactly arms & limbs stuck out in stiff akimbo -- but not in my usual lightest possible layers -- I will not link posts here, darling, but I'm sure you remember how much I love hanging around in the nude in summertime...

I realize now -- that he and I were never really going to hit it off.

I suppose that accounts for my "rebound" pingpong game just now.
I'm 5'6", not sure my weight (don't have a scale), but I'm a size 14/16
full-figured; always a few pounds to lose, but toned & shapely -- definitely HWP
(if you like "petite & skinny" -- it was nice knowing you, Arthur)
I'm attractive in person -- but am not a conventional beauty
I am not "pretty" -- but I am nice-looking
(so - again - if that's a deal breaker because in your heart-of-hearts you're looking for Heidi Klum...)

sweetheart, sometimes I worry about myself -- I have renewed the copy of the E.D. study, about Emily's relationship with her maid Maggie... and I just never seem to feel like picking it up. I am just so distracted with so many other thoughts & commotions.

And maybe I don't really want to know about how E.D.'s maid inspired Emily?

D feels sometimes that he's my maid.

And I don't feel inspired by him in the least.

Oh sweetheart, I am waxing dyspeptic here a bit. I mean to, I don't mean to... I don't know.

I have a date tomorrow. I am looking forward to meeting him. Honestly, he sounds really sweet, in the tiniest communications we've had.

He's going to be a bit late tomorrow - he emailed me to say. What was to be morning coffee, will now be a lunch date.

Maybe he can recommend his good dentist in Pittsfield. It's been -- well, way too long -- since I had my teeth cleaned...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hi sweetheart, back from my date, which was nice as walks go -- but no chemistry, and so was cut short. It's funny, because it seemed that he & I had tons of chemistry & connection in writing -- but no energy-exchange in person. It's too bad. I wonder if it's a hazard of the trade of writers, especially those with imagination and a romantic nature. The corporeal -- the reality behind the charmed illusion of the flickering, lively, lyrical words on a screen - is almost bound to disappoint. Because how could the corporeal match, let alone exceed such beauty? It's okay, I feel a little sad about it - just in the "hopes dashed" department, but truly I didn't feel it either. Not, for example, the way I'd felt it with you that Christmas Day. Or even the frisson I felt on Jan. 2 with that guy at ShopRite (I stopped there in a desultory way on the offchance this afternoon on my way home -- no of course he wasn't there). Ah well, I have another chance in a couple of days, a morning coffee date. It may be an interesting contrast in experiences. Because with this one -- we've hardly communicated at all, whatsoever, except for very to-the-point messages about whens & wheres of our meeting. No details whatsoever. Which -- after today's rather deflating experience -- might be to our mutual advantage. If I'm a siren online --- well, he isn't expecting one in person, because he has no idea that I'm a siren online.

I wish I could have hit it off better with Mr. R. today. He is nice, and working on an interesting project, and expressed need for companionship, so that his task might be less lonely, go smoother maybe. And the Cunegonde in me felt rather warm to that scenario. I figured I could work on my own writing, in some fashion, as well as roast chicken & set out composed salads for lunch.

What is it about chemistry? What a very strange species we are. All of us, forever so lonesome, forever searching -- and yet -- it's so hard to connect. Not hard to connect on some levels -- he had said that after his separation there was plenty of 'partying' (but of course, not in the slightest bit surprising) - but when it comes to trying to find the goose to companionably (and richly) settle down with for the rest of one's life -- the word "elusive" hardly covers the difficulty of it.

Oh well. I wish him well. He was nice, I'm nice. We tried. It was a beautiful walk along a sylvan rail trail, a parade of dogwalkers and their various beautiful leashed pets -- a veritable red-carpet fashion parade of them, my date even stopping on one occasion, to "interview" and comment upon two hugely adorable stuffed toys of brother-sister tiny dogs, owned now by separate owners (related women), out now together on a play date, the two puppies affectionately nuzzling, as if recognizing their mutual origins seven months previous...

Besides that, you may be wondering how the church service went with my organ-playing -- in short, great. I mean, I'm no virtuosic player, but no matter -- just the beauty and drama and color of having live organ music in the church - and I tried to play "with feeling" -- I know that I enjoyed myself, and I received many compliments from parishioners afterward. The point I'm trying to make, really, is not that I was "on" and it was a "performance," but simply that having live music added a wonderful element that served to enhance otherwise wholly lively and highly engaging proceedings.

It's funny darling -- was that you overnight, landing on my blog with "Slavic blessing", an image of -- well, not me? Because today, at the service, there was a Slavic Blessing of sorts, a very interesting experience for me personally, to not only bear witness to, but to participate in. You see, the guest clergyman is renowned (if that's the word I seek) for his gift of healing -- or that's what he focuses on in his ministry -- and he himself has survived, come back from the very brink, extreme near-death experiences, between wartime gunshot wounds, and, more recently, a devastating viral infection.

So at the service today, at which he preached - by turns charismatically, jollily, but making quite incisive points as well (seemingly "sideways")- there was a young woman there, seated by herself in a front pew (quite near me, since I was at the front of the church seated at the organ). She was there because this was formally a "healing service." And so the clergyman, at a given moment in the service, explained the young woman's situation -- that she has traveled from the Ukraine, been diagnosed with breast cancer, and was here this morning (in tandem with the protocols of her medical treatment), for spiritual healing. And so we - individuals closest to her physically in the church - each stood and laid hands on her, simply touched her. I had arisen from the organ when the clergyman summoned us all around her, and I stood behind her, and raised my palm and placed it lightly on her back, near her shoulder. And the clergyman was standing next to me, and he placed his left palm on her back, and his and my fingers ever so lightly touched. I might have ordinarily, reflexively, moved my thumb, to deflect the lightest strange touching -- but I didn't, I held fast, and more to the point, to the task, which was to simply keep my hand placed on the young woman's shoulder, and there were other hands, single hands, on her besides, a small circle around her -- and those who couldn't touch her directly, were touching someone in their own close proximity -- and so from the front of the church where a small nucleus touching stood, down the aisle stood the rest of the parishioners, all in some fashion -- touching, connecting.

And we stood there for what seemed like minutes & minutes, motionless, simply touching, while the clergyman spoke prayers for her health. And then a moment came when we all quietly withdrew our hands from touching her corporeality, but still stood motionless about her. And the clergyman requested of her, as he placed his hands gently on her small shoulders, to turn slowly around in place, do a "three-sixty", as he put it, and to look into the eyes of each person who had so stood there and touched her. And she did, she turned and looked into the eyes of first one woman who looked at her kindly, then another, next to me, who did the same, and then she came to me, and looked into my eyes and I into hers and I said "be well." And she nodded and that was that, it was back to the clergyman, and then the exercise, or moment, (I don't know the right word) was about over, and I returned to my seat at the organ, slipped along the wood bench to arrange myself at the manuals, playing the pedals in my stocking feet because I realized that the low heels I had worn to church didn't work, I couldn't feel the pedals...

I can hardly remember the order of the service now -- but not long after, it was time for the "Peace," when parishioners rise and purposefully mingle among one another in the aisle and shake hands. And there was the young woman - or maybe not so young, I don't mean teens or twenties, no - more like thirties or young forties. And I'm really not a touchy-feely, hugging kind of person at all normally, not with strangers, and almost especially not in situations where I - or one - is almost expected to be especially expressive of hugs, bonhomie --- oh I hate, just absolutely cannot bring myself to express such expressions if I don't feel them.

But it was the moment of "peace" (I'd slipped my feet back into my pumps and clambered off the wood bench). And there was the young woman, and she had piercing blue eyes -- blue eyes of a Slavic sort that I recognize -- and she smiled at me, and I smiled at her, and do you know -- she & I fell into each other's arms, and I gave her the most heartfelt embrace & hug, as though --- no the R would admonish me, not 'as though' -- but because -- there was a connection there --

At the end of the walk this afternoon, came the moment of truth - he and I, bored, unconnected, cordially wished each other well, shook hands, and parted company

all my love, dearest
I am very very glad to be back with you here tonight


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hello dearest, feeling a little blank at the moment, had a busy day, and am now settled up in the aerie, but need to remain focused on getting a good night's sleep, for a big day tomorrow. A very big day indeed, my 'debut' as organist, and my first date in 26 years. How's that? Trying to think - should I wash my hair tonight? Or perhaps in the morning? What should I wear to church? I know what I'll wear for my date. But will I pin my hair up, or leave it down? I'm inclined to pin it up, so it doesn't get quite so windblown, and then besides, if things go swimmingly, there's the possibility of a future reveal.... my hair down. So I bought new hairclips, to keep all options open, my old ones from the dollar store had teeth missing (they shatter on impact if I drop them on the floor). I did manage to get to the movies, a matinee of The Artist. I'm a little surprised that it's received so many Oscar nominations. Maybe I shouldn't be, I suppose it's a nostalgic joke for Hollywood insiders. I enjoyed it, but I knew in advance that it was 100 minutes -- and I kept looking, in the dark theatre, at my watch. I didn't love it, though I did enjoy the wonderful sinewy Charleston dancing, and the animated presences of the male & female leads. Are the Oscars tomorrow? I'm not even sure. At this point I'm most interested in the red carpet fashion parade beforehand... although -- well, yeah, I suppose I'll tune in. Will Michele Williams win for Marilyn?

It was a busy day. I bought new hairclips at one of the loathsome big-box stores, and then I cut & ran -- that is drove speedily away through the vast acreage of blank black asphalt parking lot. I practiced on the church organ, twice today. I think I'll be okay. The trick really will be to be as well-rested & physically comfortable as possible, and I'm not a morning person. I took a vigorous walk, and I did a workout, and I managed a session besides -- though honestly, at the crucial moment, somehow I felt as though I'd ruptured something in my head - suddenly I had a headache. I don't wish to give myself a cerebral hemmorrhage, that would be exceedingly embarrassing, to say the least.

Sweetheart, can you tell I'm just tapping away here? I'm thinking of you, and yet things are changing. We'll see what happens. There are high winds outside now, clattering the clanging wind chimes. I hear D's footfall on the porch steps. Heat curdles up through the pipes. My fingers type. My head still hurts a little bit -- and I was fine all day until that point. Oh, I'll be fine. I really am looking forward to tomorrow, all parts of it, and I hope it all goes well, including the date part. Look, maybe we'll be attracted to each other, maybe not. I don't know what to say. Well - that's what I mean, it's getting a little sketchy blogging here. Actually blogging will go better if my date doesn't go dreamily -- then at least there'll be an amusing anecdote.

Wow. I think I have a bit of stage fright. Not about the date so much. But about the morning. I'll sign off now. Sorry it's not a great post. But I really need to --- I don't know, just - focus? No, that's not it. No, just relax, take care of myself, so that tomorrow all goes well, I'm relaxed & in good humor throughout, etc., etc.

Sorry newest member #5. Not every day here is 'brilliant.' And thanks for your very kind comment...

many kisses, dearest - hope all is well & happy with you
wish me well tomorrow --


John Koch (American, 1909-1978), Dora, ca. 1955, oil on canvas, 24 1/2 x 28 inches

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hello sweetheart, I woke this morning & glanced out the windows and was shocked to see a black&white and graytoned world, a covering of snow had fallen overnight. It is amazing how it instantly transforms the landscape, desaturates all color, renders a world that was sunny, bright, green & technicolored yesterday -- into an alien, alternate sphere, glazed, hard, white, frosted, hoary. Blackbirds took flight and squealed strangely on my walk this morning, perhaps they too were surprised by what in normal winters would have been a characteristic snowfall, in our era, perhaps even to the animal kingdom, come as a surprise. It's all melting away now, though, darling, I hear rain pattering outside, yes, it's raining.

I miss you, even as I tell you that I have not one but two dates lined up now. I know I'm a bit stunned myself. I think I'm doing better than maybe I did while even in college... or, I don't know, it's so different now, the dynamics are different, the type of men I'm connecting with. We'll see. I'm looking forward to meeting both, both so different... I don't know. It's a strange world, strange time, and - well, we'll see. All through it though, darling, I Think of You.

But still, it is exciting - and I don't mean in a prurient way - to think of the prospect of simply encountering another man, falling into step with him, sharing a cup of coffee. I've been so much on my own I'll just be happy to have an actual... conversation -- a talkie!! (I really should go see The Artist tomorrow -- assuming it's playing around here I believe I will, I'll make a point of it.)

yours, Stella

oh please don't tell me that I was actually in the city that week and might have gone to see this...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dearest, so many snatches of music running through my mind as I sit here in the aerie thinking what to write... the opening strains of Saint Matthews Passion, some dramatic aria from an Italian opera -- oh my spelling -- "nessan darmo" is what I think it sounds like --

I spent time at the church today, organizing myself and practicing for the coming Sunday. I feel really good about it. I have created a form for myself, in which I've plugged in all the hymns...

I had the church to myself, and thought about all these crazy connections I have -- with you, with -- , with a Mr or Ms iPhone in Catskill, with a poster on CL --

It's not Nessun Dorma, it's an aria, I'm pretty sure, from Madame Butterfly, that I heard a Bard opera student aspiringly sing at an afternoon recital in town ...

dearest - do you know? I feel myself to be at a great crossroads... the blogging won't be going so smoothly I don't think... I really do have to work out how I'm going to make things work for myself for whatever I have left for the next half-century. No trivial consideration, since my mother died at age 58, only a few years older than myself. And I am nothing like her (or am I?) --- oh those difficult ponderings are very difficult to think about. She gave birth to four children, and reared them. I have done none of the above. But she seemed trapped and buried and miserable. I have this horrible visual memory of her walking up our little ell of an end of a road -- maybe I was in a schoolbus, or a friend's car? I don't remember. But I saw my mother walking, along the ridged high stone wall, in a tight illfitting wig - synthetic hair, done up in waves, or more curls, it was a short 'do' - and the wig was too tight for her, and my mother was grimfaced, as she marched up the road, lost in her own thoughts -- and I didn't understand -- and I still don't -- I was a girl -- and she was still -- well "young" -- but lost, and unrecovered

I'm sorry that I witnessed my mother that way
she had somehow thought that a wig from Bloomingdale's might help
but what it did more so was to bind her forehead
make her head hurt
she was prone to migraines
spent many many afternoons in the darkened "sunroom", lying down

I love my mother, I feel bad for her
she had this belief -- borne from the war
that all sorts of specious stuff might save her -
makeup, 'better living through chemistry', synthetic wigs,
volumes of Joseph Campbell

I'm not her
and I'm older now than she was, in that memory I have of her
I'm not "pretty" -- that's a very particular word, it seems to me
---- ah if you want that ---- game over --- I'm not that
but I have other charms, & I feel good about that

I'm older than her now
and my hair is full & thick
and I have --- oh all sorts of happy gardens
growing in my mind my heart my soul
and my fingers as I hope to credibly play
during the coming Sunday's healing service

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wow, googling Stalk of the Celery Monster (1982) gets you a land on my blog, via an image not from a wittily titled T. Burton flick, but a graphic from the NT production of Frankenstein? Darling, I was an English major then, artist with a room of her own now, but that is truly an obscure connection whose meaning eludes me. Though suddenly this female Frankenstein is in the mood for a Bloody Mary. I wonder why that is?

Oh sweetheart, I should be more respectful & reverential on this day, and part of me is. But other parts of me felt quite dyspeptic and out of sorts. The day didn't go very well. I woke up feeling under the weather, hungover a little bit - was I? Why? I don't think I had any more wine than usual, although the wine store is out of the tried-and-true La Vieille Ferme, so perhaps this new, somewhat darker pink wine is stronger than I realized. And then the way I'd waxed in yesterday's post about my frustration about having to wait a whole week & a day for a cup of coffee (1st date in 26 years -- yeah I'm d&d free, do you need proof? but I did have Lyme disease. but that's all over.) Anyway, he emailed me this morning - did I need a ride. Say what? Wasn't that for next week? (Darling, how do I know if I need a ride for a cup of coffee a week in advance? I mean, my God, I'm Emma Bovary, stuck in the provinces, but not quite as bad as that.) So I emailed back -- we're meeting today? And in my slightly headachey state I shook my head pondering... you know, if I'd known it was for today -- then yesterday evening's post would never have been written, not like that (speaking of monkeys at typewriters -- how easily changeable whatever it is I clatter up onto the screen is). So I responded -- I thought you said "next" Wednesday - we're on for today? And delayed my shower until I got a response, because it sort of factored as to whether I was going to wash my hair or not -- or not really, I ended up washing it, even without his clarifying reply -- but certainly with what outfit I might wear today, whether I was going for a walk before or after lunch, and yeah, whether I did need a ride or not. Oh man. He got back to me. No -- it's next Wednesday all right, he had just wanted to be sure that I'd gotten his message from yesterday, about whether I needed a ride. I responded... probably I can get there - next week - on my own, if we can set a time a day or so in advance -- "in the meantime, have a great week."

Do you have a headache now too? I don't mean to be unkind. Perhaps his computer had crashed, which is why he was following up on whether I'd received a message that I hadn't felt in any immediate rush to respond to. Because also I have yet to receive a list of next Sunday's hymns from R -- I emailed her, and it turns out that her internet service had crashed. And I have to say -- on top of all my mildly dissatisfactory ______ [fill in word later], my computer or internet service was crashing much of the afternoon too, and I came perilously close to not posting this evening, because I could not get any web pages up AT ALL, but then I brilliantly figured out to kill a couple of the initial dial-up numbers, it's perhaps those remote phone booths, with wires chewed by squirrels, that were giving me trouble... and it worked, I bypassed Claverack & Catskill, in favor of Hudson, and voila --- smooth sailing, here I am, darling, to no avail except that I Showed Up.

You do realize, darling, that if I fall madly in love with that guy next week over coffee, and he with me, that I will probably have to quit blogging? Because - dom/sub or no sub, I doubt he would like it very much, and I wouldn't blame him. I don't think I'd want to date someone I was then blogging about however obliquely every night. No dearest, if he & I were to hit it off, I might have to come up with some other project entirely. Perhaps an oral history of -- well something -- where I might need to come down in person & interview you...

launching w/o proofing
that kind of day

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh sweetheart, coffee a week and a day from now isn't cutting it at the moment for me. I want you right here right now, dancing with me in the solarium, while the last rays of light brightening the windows set maroon-leafed tropical plants aglow. Why can't you just be over here already? Oh yeah, I know -- those details. Oh but baby we're so right for each other why do I have to piddle around with CL when I just want to want to want to... whatever happened to our little private communications? Not that I want to say it in writing, that's the point, I really don't, oh aarrgghhh. I had a fantastic session this morning, but that was hours ago. It didn't take so long, and I could be loud as I wanted, because the county DPW crew, in massive loud trucks & machinery was out there doing something, I didn't know or care what, I figured they were repainting the double-yellow lines on our dead-end but not demapped road. So with all that noise & rumbling & general county busyness outside the windows of my tightly sealed upstairs cubiculum, when the time came, after some truly atrocious fantasies, I just let it out out out out out. I am so loud now, what the hell? I love emitting the noise -- truly it is what it is, unmistakable, no faking, it rises up, my breath quickening, finding its way to my vocal chords --- it's part of it, there's the unmistakable pulsating (now I really know it for what it is, accept no substitutes) and then there's this involuntary animal vocalizing, it's pretty amazing. I am steeped in thinking about CL postings, albany, hudson valley, western mass -- catskills & northwest ct are for the birds, dead zones, nothing happens there. funny, living where I do, I fall between the cracks yet again, in CL geographic terms -- where I am is not really located in "any of the above." and so I troll them all. I could go for some now, but not by myself - with you. I've been wondering - given many CL postings - about dom/sub relationships. some of my fantasies get extreme, just to quicken matters. but I'm a person who writes down my dreams, if I remember them on waking. so I wonder about the fantasies I have in my waking hours, when I'm getting down to it. do they mean anything about me? are they significant, giving me a clue as to my personality & needs? or are they simply extreme - so as to be expedient? am I a sub? I think D thought I might be a dom, with him a sub [and I mean this in very broad terms]. I don't know what I'm talking about, not really. but I wonder about my masochistic obsession [which I am all but over, if forcibly], and wonder if psychologically there was some sort of sub/dom thing going on, underground, psychically. I don't know. darling, which are you -- well, maybe it's not an either or, you beautiful naughty awful man oh I'd like to.... you.
ah so I must hold out One Whole Week Plus a Day -- chastest penance of time ever to hold out for -- for -- for what? a cup of coffee!! albeit a delicious one I'm sure, at a stylish cafe. I hope we have fun. but I wish it'd be you, right here, right now, Man of the World, age 54, MWM seeking love & illicit bonding coupling without rocking any boats "at this time."
File under: Frustration.
Oh my darling. Love you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh sweetheart, I lead a crazily compartmentalized life myself, in my own fashion. The stress-relieving part of my trifecta did not go well, I could not reach it, despite nearly an hour. Good thing I don't work for a living, that would be impossible. I once saw a HuffPo headline to the effect of a Brazilian woman who was granted daily time at work to attend to her need -- of course it was a racy, prurient tease, but at this point, boy do I relate. And so now I feel this uncomfortable sensation of it not having gotten out of the way. Gawd, who knew menopause was going to be like this? If that's what it is. Does it even get worse -- or not worse, as not to judge, but as severe -- because I saw, on one of my workouts last week, a black woman bus driver, age 59, seated in her bus, Dr. Oz boarding, ask him an "awkward question" -- why does she want it all the time, more than ever?

Oh sweetheart, are you in that boat too? I connected with someone nice today, he seems nice, we plan to meet for coffee next week, we'll see. If it actually happens (because I've had a few other plates spinning the air but none of them have -- landed? -- I may have the wrong analogy here) it will be my first date of any sort in some 26 years.

Oh so the latter was another "compartment" of mine. There was an ad today from a guy in his early 60s, but I think he's too old for me. I would like someone around my age, give or take, and I'd even take a bit younger, say late 40's. I mean, especially since men tend to predecease women -- do they still? I haven't looked into such statistics lately. But because I so love the loving company & companionship of a man whom I love, it makes no sense to me to go out of my way to answer the ad of someone 11 years older than myself, even if he does sound great, in a Jane Austen kind of way -- "mature, professional male returning to live in Albany area soon." On horseback! A truth universally acknowledged! Of course my antennae went up -- if for no more than literary reasons.

Another compartment is that I attended church yesterday, and had the brilliant idea on my vigorous walk along country roads beforehand (eight in the morning, cold air, bright sunshine), to take careful notes as to the timing & sequencing of the service, where I would be expected to come in with a hymn... I feel so much more relaxed on that score now that I have the general scheme on one sheet (even if, from Sunday to Sunday, the hymns vary -- no matter...)

The R and I had met last week in the church, and I played a few hymns on the ancient organ for her (oh what a magnificent instrument, those beautifully colored pipes -- I suppose I mean the paint colors, actually, all Olana tones of sage-green, apricot, turquoise, and gilt -- because sonically I really wish there were a way to modulate the volume -- that instrument is loud), and we had agreed that I'd start next Sunday, coincidentally [watch my adverbs - providentially? purposely?] for a service involving special guest clergyman...

and so I was a little surprised, as I sat back in a rear pew as the R, in a more informal segment of the service, engaged directly with the congregation and offered general announcements, as to the upcoming Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner (eggs are not needed, but milk is, posited one of the organizers -- but I thought, don't pancakes require eggs if for no other reason than as binding?), some study group here, prayer meeting there, etc., etc.

And I was a little surprised that she hadn't mentioned that I would officially be starting my service the following Sunday... and also the church bulletin indicated that next Sunday's music would be recorded. Had I disappointed the R in some way? Had she changed her mind about me? And decided to postpone my debut after all?

I tried not to take it personally, the way I try not to take it personally when a CL someone who expressed interest suddenly goes cold... do you know, that somehow those two types of things -- I suppose ego flicking -- touched the same nerve somehow (don't you like me?)

Well okay, I wasn't going to get too self-flagellating about it, the R had her reasons... and so even as the service continued, Hymn this & that followed by the Eucharist wait til all the parishioners have returned to their seats...

and then the service was just about over --
just about "class dismissed" time
oh dear -- I should really get the liturgical terminology down --
I think it was time for the Recessional Hymn
when the R - a very spirited, animated woman, with a great sense of occasion & flair
called a halt to the usual proceedings & stood at the front of the congregation
& quite charmingly & dramatically apologized that she had forgotten about a Very Important Announcement

and then she gestured towards me, sitting way back in the rear, and asked if I'd come up

I looked around -- you mean me? you want me to come up to the front of the church?

yes, she meant me

and as I approached -- no, not the bench, your Honor
as I approached the front of the church, where the R in her white vestments stood
she explained to the congregation that next Sunday would be my debut
and she made beautiful religious remarks about my "entering into my service to the Lord" or words to that effect, her arm around my shoulders
(wow, had I known that would happen maybe I would have rethunk my outfit for church that morning -- jeans, and my E.D. sparkly sequiny top, topped with staid black cashmere sweater (under which superwoman paisley top shines through))

I stood there at the front of the church, the R's arm around me
and faced the congregation
actually I looked down, I couldn't quite face them
I just listened to the R's words, and felt the feel of her arm around me
I felt quite called into service, at that time
it was a good feeling, I liked it, I feel up for it
as I stood there all I could absurdly think of was Ed Sullivan intoning, in grainy black & white, rubbing his hands together,
"It's going to be a Really Really Big Shew"
consider it an act of prudent restraint that standing up there I didn't quip as much

and so that's that darling, you're caught up on my compartmentalized life
will tweak, no doubt, in the morning
these posts - as is my life - are a work in progress

many kisses, dearest love
I hope you have someone who can give you tender kisses
& embraces
in private
the way you like
love you

P.S. another compartment - perhaps this should be another post

from my "dream journal" this morning, in which I record dreams that I manage to remember -- I think this one must be related to the "mantle" of sorts being placed on me...
Regina B. has handpicked me to be her successor as paralegal coordinator. It isn’t official, but clearly her blessing carries a lot of weight. I am very relieved and grateful and honored, especially that she even thought of me – still thinks of me as capable – since I haven’t worked in many years. I am relieved that it is a stable job, not overly stressful…

It’s premature to tell anyone, really, yet I am bursting with the momentousness. I go to Grand Central Terminal to buy a ticket home, and blurt out the news to the station clerks, who know me by name. One hands me a little envelope with my name scrawled on it. At first I think my name is misspelled (the handwriting is messy and uncertain) but it isn’t. I buy Dentyne and sticks of sugary Beechwood gum, and the ticket. And proceed outside to some remote track, out in the mud – with a creek – completely unpaved, undeveloped. Is this where the train is supposed to be? Others are there too. I don’t even know when the train is coming. I remark how it’s like the Mekong Delta, to which some guy takes slight umbrage, but I say, sorry, the way it looks here, so swampy, it reminds me of Cambodia.

I have on a beautiful outfit, maybe what helped win me the job (I’ll ruin my shoes in that mud, by the way, so I’m trying to step lightly out), and I’ll need more outfits of that caliber. I think that it would be nice to sit in an office and be on the phone all day.

Regina and I visit the place where my office is to be. It’s in a building, maybe a house, and my room is tiny, tucked upstairs, way way back behind other rooms and down long corridors – I’m at the very end of the house. The room is tiny, and neat & cozy – it reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s room, with its spare clean furnishings – a small desk, set by a window, at which I’ll sit, I look forward to sitting. Maybe I’ll be able to get some writing done here too, I think, in between phone calls regarding paralegal assignments. I learn that there is plenty of work for the paralegals, and that they are eager for the assignments.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hello darling, just a quick post for tonight. I'm back from Rhinebeck, where I caught the screening of a powerful, exquisitely well-made film on a very difficult subject, I'm still digesting it. I recommend it highly, but it is excruciating to watch at times; ravishing, aesthetically, in moments, utterly abject in others. I feel completely even-keeled having viewed it, yet at the same time my mind is spinning a bit, because the main character reminds me of someone (though he is not quite as extreme, I am sure), and of my own situation, since I suddenly - or, rather, recently - find myself answering selected CL ads...

there was a curious scene in the film where the character jokes that he's got a vestige of Neanderthal in him - a metaphoric suggestion (as I took it) to account for his particular compartmentalized outsider status

it was curious to me that that was mentioned, because it made me wonder not so much if the Neanderthal was in him - as completely absent

I suppose I'm thinking master/emissary themes again, left-brain/right-brain,
but more than that, also --- that whole idea (for example) of NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or even forms of sociopathy (the garden variety everyday forms we all of us encounter every day, I mean)

it just made me wonder -- perhaps not entirely literally, or scientifically -- but perhaps so (but who could know?)
that the film depicted a type of human male, who has evolved for whatever reasons to be the way he is
I don't know if it's a comment on the "species"
or if the "species" is so monolithic --
if one follows Darwin, then there would be local adaptations
which makes the idea of 'global spread of humans' quite scary indeed --
if this is the form -- triumphalist, amoral, emotionally detached (though prone to hairtrigger bursts of feral rage), highly sexed -- they are to take

I am posting this mess of a post as is, darling
simply to get downstairs
where I should most certainly check in for real
a delicious aroma of multigrain pilaf is wafting up the stairs - not
cooked by me

the film is called Shame
I'm not sure I agree with the title -- too moralistic
to me it was like a scary scifi tale
except that a lot of us are in it
or brushed up against it

film images:
Michael Fassbender, Shame, (U.K., 2011), dir. by Steve McQueen

Ewan McGregor, The Ghost Writer, (France, Germany, U.K., 2010), dir. by Roman Polanski

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hi darling, up in the aerie in sweet honeyed light, all golden & mellow, streaming in the westfacing windows -- ahh, it looks, even feels like spring, the lightening of the world, it's five and so bright out, I feel my spirits lifting. I am sitting here with a well-deserved glass of icefilled pink wine, having spent all afternoon cleaning the house top to bottom, baths included, so now there's a nice fresh neatened up house to show for it. Plus I did a bunch of cooking this morning, a pan of simple chicken legs roasted with tarragon, with a salad for lunch; and a chicken-sausage, lentil, tomato, & kale sauce for pasta tonight. Before that I took a long walk with weights this morning, and right after that had a wonderful session with you, and so I feel Vitruvianly exercised & energized and had a fairly full enjoyable day, even if it was laden with chores. But I much prefer to simply set to chores with energy & purpose and "get it all done," than to do dribs one day, drabs another -- in which case the chores weigh constantly. Yes darling, I was on all fours, cleaning the upstairs bath -- is that what you meant? Because surely that baby can't be crawling yet - can it? Or perhaps that's not what you meant at all, you delightful man you - I like it that way too.

It's good that I got a lot of chores out of the way too, because I'm going to have practice a lot of hymns this coming week... my Big Debut is next Sunday. I'm not really nervous, except that I wish it were a less important service that I would be starting out on - there will be a guest clergyman, quite a draw evidently, a big deal, and so many more parishioners are expected. I would have preferred to start, say, maybe tomorrow (though I don't feel psychically ready at the moment), when there would be no more than a handful of people, maybe around twenty, and all quite sweet, timid & retiring, it seems. (It really is a tiny very provincial parish.) But I will do my best, and I'm sure it will be fine, though I doubt it will be "perfect," there's too much of a learning curve, but the R is cool with that, she understands -- we give what we can give, what we have to give. She offered (of course) to postpone my start, but it would be very nice to have some live music at this special service, and I didn't see the point of delaying matters at all -- I won't improve through the delay. It's not really the offhours practicing that nails it, it will be my getting used to service after service after service, until the pacing & rhythm of it all becomes second-nature, and the hymns so familiar I'll hardly even have to, for some, consult the sheet music.

How are you darling? I wonder where you are. I think of you. I hope I get to see you sometime this year, I really do. That's something to hope for, even just a glimpse, a few moments in the same room as you. That's a nice thought, isn't it? I smile as I type and think of it, of you. Oh honey, at least we've found each other in this way -- because corporeally all too often it's all but impossible on this earth, as a CL poster, age 34, in the title of his personals-ad lamented today -- and boy could I relate, and wanted almost to say, older than him as I am, with boatloads of years behind me to have reflected ruefully on all this, but it really is astonishing how elusive, in the worldly realm, satisfying human connections & relations are, as it turns out (especially, I'm sure, in our harsh, fragmentizing culture) -- "why is this so difficult." There wasn't even a question mark --- it's a statement -- "why is this so difficult." Yes, it is.

Anyway, darling, I'm actually having a wonderful time, as wonderful as I can have... I don't know. "Bored & lonely?" I'm lonely -- but not really bored. There is always something to occupy me, somehow, however mundane it may seem... and the future holds some promise I think, at least I hope so. And if not, well then -- I think of you, and I'm very glad I've rediscovered myself, in key respects. I was so bookish as a girl, or I liked dressup dolls, that I never had much need for battery-operated toys, but now I am very grateful for them, and the immense relief, and sense of not being involuntarily cloistered, that they bring.

Enough babbling my love. I hope wherever you are you are having a wonderful time, sipping or nibbling something delicious, having long luxurious whiles to yourself where you can muse & dream and think of me, maybe even lie back on a settee in a cubiculum, shutters half-drawn, while Corinna slips in from the shadows in her light summer dress to visit you with a kiss...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Real Woman

CL post, a few moments ago
White male, tall, late 40's, searching for the posted. To define real, is a woman comfortable in her own skin. Tall, short, thin, chunky, busty or not so much, or any combination in between, who can dress in jeans, evening gowns, or even nothing at all, with the same personal comfort level. Someone that can attend, and comprehend, board meetings with as much zealous as cleaning fish she just caught that day. This woman can walk through a barnyard, or garage, and hang out, without too much distress, or at least as effortlessly as walking the busy streets of Manhattan. Ideally, this woman will have spontaneity and passion, know what she needs, desires, wants, and is capable of accepting, and enjoying, affection, and attention to all of her personal needs, when respectfully given to her. If any of this resembles you, and has caught your attention, please reply with some of your stats, any questions you may have, etc. Let's chat and get to know each other.
My response, just now
I'm kinda like that
though not as much as my old boss -
barracuda who I hated
but your post instantly put me in mind of this song, by Cake

be careful what you wish for!!!

52, 5'6"

dearest love -- my date fell through for this weekend
ah but I'm working on other options
workin' the universe
biggest hugs ever --

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hello darling, another gloomy day, this one wet at least though, gloom with damp purpose. I'm sitting up here in the aerie, musing, dreaming. I've had a pleasant day. I anticipate, for the first time in over a quarter century, a bit of a "date" this weekend, that is, unless he's changed his mind. Which is possible. But I just reviewed our email exchanges from yesterday and the day before, and while they're not exactly -- not by a long shot! -- the preliminary exchanges of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning -- whose beautiful correspondence I've been looking at in a wondrous new digitized project -- they are pleasant nonetheless, very simple, warm, gracious, and charming. So we'll see. Towards that end -- "coffee" -- I thought about what I might wear on our first "meet" (oh dear, the lingo has all changed, or maybe that's the CL lexicon), and so when D came home for lunch I took the car for a bit to peruse the clearance racks at the cozy little department store that I like around here, sort of a mini (but way less expensive) L & Taylor. I dug & dug, tried on a few tops -- they didn't work. I perused the racks one more time - growing a bit anxious because I knew D needed the car back -- and found a single top (one was all I needed) scrunched in somehow, that I'd missed on my first pass... a sixties-style "vintagey" [of course back in the sixties it was cutting edge] pucciesque or possibly Diane VF-style "peasant" top, in a slinky fabric. I tried it on with the jeans I was wearing, and I think it - I - looked good! I haven't worn a "peasant" top since junior high, I don't think... and here they are back in fashion, though re-invented, thankfully, for this fifty-something year-old now. But I looked good, I thought, and I opened the dressing room door and asked the young sales clerk what she thought -- "is it too young for me?" -- oh no, not at all, was her response. I told her it was for a date -- sexy coffee date. Oh my! She thought that maybe the jeans didn't work with it, but I said, hmmmm, these are what I have, or ones like this -- I just needed a top. I stood there, and she stood there, and we pondered. Black pants?, I queried. No, she thought, too formal.

Is he even going to notice the jeans? The practical side of me came out. I mean, yeah, he might notice the jeans, that I look good in them, and so what if they don't totally go with the top. That's the look these days --- and I am, as I wrote to him (as truthfully as my self could) a "youthful 52."

Nah, he'll be so dazzled by my beautiful print top, that he won't even notice that I'm not a "beauty," and "not photogenic," because he'll be so beguiled by my smile, the sound of my laugh, subtle scent of Miss Dior, and how I look at him, and if I need to step away from the table to visit the ladies room, how I look in those jeans, never mind the silly top.

Oh sweetheart...

many kisses

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello darling, I am this close to not posting at all tonight. I have been feeling slightly under the weather all day, sleepy, fatigued & achey - mildly but persistently so, and gray skies all day, limpidness never lifting, haven't helped. I'm actually in a good mood, a mellow one, thinking about a possible rendezvous (for coffee) this weekend, but feeling amused at some of the exchanges. But Discretion is Paramount, which I fully respect. Let's just say that no meeting seemed too realistic, certainly not any ongoing encounter, because we're a little too geographically farflung. Ah, but we could meet in the middle. Which we will, for coffee. But as per my brainiac email to him this morning: "I do have a question though - back to practicalities - let's say we do hit it off -- where would you imagine our private assignations to take place?" He hadn't thought about it! And I had no answer. "I don't quite see myself spending time in motels," and assumed that he wasn't in the financial position to "whisk up a comfortable pied-a-terre" in the middle town. No, but what a swell idea! - getting a nice place to stay from time to time...

He had thought that once we got to know one another and I was comfortable, I could drive to the middle town, he could meet me there, drive back to his town, and then drive me back to my car afterward, and then we'd each drive in opposite directions home...

All that time, all that driving...

And then I thought of the solution...

The long & short of it is -- if sparks fly (doubtful, I really am very very fussy, & I'll know in about an instant) -- but if they do fly --

then the Empire Service will be my personal F train, suddenly reducing the vast distance between our river towns into no more, in terms of time & ease, than the stops between, say, Carroll Street and 47-50 Sts/Rockefeller Center. Totally doable. I might get some reading done. I'll be a commuter - of sorts! Oh, and he'll cover the fare.

Aren't you proud of me for coming up with that? I think I'll start my reading program, for the runs downriver, with Anna Karenina...

yours in great humor & spirit darling,
hoping all is well with you -
love, Belle

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My dear love, Happy Valentine's Day. I never was so much one for that holiday, but thinking of you -- well, I just smile & imagine that we might have a tender, romantic moment -- and I know that you wouldn't dream of getting away with buying a bouquet of tawdry, color-clashing supermarket flowers. Ah, sweetheart, it's okay, I'm not so fussy -- I just prefer the simple sublime gesture, to the "OMG I forgot the anniversary" obligation.

Ah, sweetheart, in simple sublime gestures... I'd have the lights turned down low

-- oh I'm sorry, I just can't bear to go there all the way tonight, not here -- oh darling

I've taken that Heart Shaped Like a Baguette and chopped it up (don't read into that) to make croutons, which I spread on a cookie sheet, tossed with minced garlic & EVOO, and am baking in the oven now. Wonderful garlicky aroma wafting up the stairs.

Sweetheart, oh my dear... I am clasping your hands now. I wish we could connect. I know it won't happen... and I wish it would... I'm taking other steps, because I simply cannot be alone forevermore. And by saying that I don't mean to be melodramatic at all. You know how it's been for me. I am reaching out there, and - well, we'll see. I get the feeling that an awful lot of people, of both sexes, of roughly our ages, are in just the situations we find ourselves in.

And by this I mean very kind, well-meaning people

I don't mean "players" who determined they "wanted it all"
and set about it methodically & cavalierly
organizing their lives in such a fashion
marauding about over the years
whatever the infinite and incalculable costs to others

(that poor woman, buried except for trysts with "emotionally unavailable" him
just a horrifying situation, in my view
I could go on -- parse some more -- but I won't)

(yes, but I will - for just a bit -
honestly - prostitutes get paid at least
so if you want to be "emotionally unavailable"
but date other women -- have drinks with them, laugh it up, etc.
oh that is really ugly)

without being "moralistic" there are indeed moral gradations to be made & found
I am finding, one by one, out there somewhere, an awful lot (well, several, here & there scattered throughout the region) of lonely, seemingly very kind, really okay souls

I am thinking about all this stuff, and the gradations, because I'm plunging myself into the waves
and I have to think about such calculations, and my own limits, and how others might press

I wish so much that I could just be with you --
and I can sense that on some level you feel the same way
but we have to let each other go -- you know it, I know it
you're not available
and I just have to go -- well just somewhere, to someone kind & genuine I hope
who may not be "the one"
it's going to be another journey
but it's okay

you know? I'm up for it
that "guy who used to live across the street from me"
perhaps he's a silent muse for me in that regard
he's been through it and then some

we're genuine, and we're true

we're all of us -- at age 52-53-54, thereabouts --
if not in literal menopause as I am
(utterly asymptomatic for me, other than cessation of periods - do I miss them? no)
then men my age are in the midst of huge lifechange too, I sense it
and I've been through a big transformation myself
all of us
you, darling, & me
and others I haven't met yet
emerging from deep underwater
up into the waves

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello darling, spent the day trolling through
& responding to a couple of CL posts
and deciphering pagehits here
trying to figure out who they were from

"stelllllaaaa blog" - that made me laugh so hard!
I surmised that was from Mr. North Fifth Street
yes, I definitely thought of you yesterday while I was at (p.m.)
and that wonderful, magical, weird evening I spent with you
thanks again for letting me crash
in your exquisitely appointed bedroom
with the view of aligned Christmas trees
out the small, deep-cased window
oh my -- such images are etched in my mind!

"przyjdziesz w upalny, skwarny dzieƄ"
now that I imagine, would be from you darling --
oh I wish

"for emily wherever sheet music" - also from you maybe -
very discreetly?

"woodstock bird" -- not sure

"Cotopaxi 1862" -- Civil War, of the mind, or any other kind
that brings to mind 1.0 - that's my vibe - but I don't know

or perhaps they're all quite random

now there is one absolutely unambiguous one
that I got from Finland
my friend's name -- which prompted me to dash off a note to him
that was overdue on my part --

Sweetheart, so little to report tonight. I feel achey today, for some reason. Actually I felt fine, then lay down in late afternoon for twenty minutes, felt a little woozy/achey after that, and the feeling still persists. Ah, nothing major. Though I wish I knew the source...

Yes, it's a funny thing indeed to be answering personals on an important anniversary. But something has broken, at least I'm feeling a bit energized to try to reach out, somehow. I told D yesterday evening, that that is what I am trying to do now, in some way. I mean, I guess we both feel bad that things have come to this pass. He did put his arms around me today, first time in a very long time, in commemoration I'm sure of the day, and I returned the hug, but I didn't really feel it, not in that way that he & I had once very very joyfully had. I wish - maybe, or on some theoretical level - that I could get it back -- if only because it would make life, for both of us, so much simpler. It took a long while for us to get to this pass -

and I was in love, and loved him - until I didn't, couldn't anymore
there reached a tipping point, or a breaking point
and then for me there was no return
I knew it was coming too -- I could see it
and I remember mentioning to him, several years ago
if I lose it -- I don't know (and I truly didn't, it wasn't a threat, more an apprehension of foreboding) that I'm going to be able to get it back

Anyway, darling, I'm glad I don't have to send you a photo of myself
you know just what I look like & seem to love me - anyway?
well now - that didn't come out right
And I have to say - you're so utterly handsome & charming in person --
but maybe some photos (not that I've seen so many)
don't do you full justice either --
I wonder why that is, why some people are more photogenic than others?

Oh sweetheart --- holding your hands tight
across a tiny votive-lit table
in a cozy, charming, low-key winebar in town
I'll be there, in my finery, no makeup, waiting for you


many, many kisses

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello sweetheart, past dusk, well into the gloaming, it's about to be night. I'm back from a pleasant afternoon out. I drove down to Rhinebeck, we were out of bread and there's a wonderful bakery there with artisanal breads, and I had a half-price certificate. Future breakfasts will include organic rye, Catskill multigrain, raisin-walnut levain, and - though I requested a mere baguette, sheafs of which stood in a large basket - the clerk tucked into my bag a special one - twisted into a heart-shape for Valentines Day. Awww!

How are you, my sweet?
Are you 'hanging in there?,' as I sometimes rhetorically ask my cats. I thought of you all day. I went to church this morning - rushed over there really, I was quite late. I had opened an email account for myself the other day, and realized only today that despite my best efforts to try to anonymize myself, I had done the opposite - my real name blared out in outgoing messages. Ah, no harm done, it's okay, but I did want to adjust that, be "belle12534" as I had fully intended, but had a hard time figuring out how to fix it, and spent too much time this morning on it, to the point that I had to sprint into the shower & into my clothes & though the church is just down the road D had to drop me off. I mean, I can't be late - the future organist must be seen as reliable (even if privately wacky).

The R gave a very moving sermon... she is the 'real deal,' in terms of her calling, and work she does among the sick and dying... today she talked about her long ministering to AIDS victims, in light of readings about lepers. Anyway, I'm just glancing on this, to give you a bit of flavor of my day. At communion I approached, for my first time there, the altar with the rest of the sparsely scattered congregation, knelt, and folded my arms as she had suggested I do, and so I didn't take communion, but did receive her blessing, which was so sweet and warmly given that I suddenly felt quite emotional and tears welled up. Ah, it's okay... it was a nice moment... and I'm glad it meant something to me, and to her - I don't know... it was quite powerful, and simple, and sweet, all at once. And then I returned to my seat. Let me get the butterfly-emotional tears out of the way now, so that I can be stoic organist in future weeks!

Then I came home, fiddled with my email account a bit more, figured out how to fix it, and so now I'm comfortably anonymized. So great was my relief - that bit of agenda over - that I stripped from my Sunday best, new boots included, turned up the heat, and had a wonderful session with you, zip-drive version, somehow it went quicker than other times - do batteries derive extra juice from the charger being plugged in directly above the baseboard heating? Because it was awfully cold today, darling, so the heat was cranking...

Oh sweetheart, so then I stopped by the supermarket as ever looking for the guy I'd chanced to meet on Jan 2 and - much as I had predicted - have not glimpsed since. Ah well, no Adonis of the Utz chips, but I did do awfully well in the "mark-down" department, packages of salmon, organic chicken, russets, at 35-40 percent off.

Oh darling, I'm going to fast-forward from all that boringness and say that I'm still dressed (that is, I got dressed again - afterward) and am back from having yet another elegant glass of wine in a thin tall-stemmed glass - a dry minerally Spanish white, again, this time at a wonderful tiny wine bar in town. You would love it, I'm sure. It's at street level, in a 19th century storefront, all cozily lit with numerous votive candles, an enormous antique mirrored bar on which the drinks menu is scrawled. I sat at the bar and regarded myself, and truly -- look if someone has unique tastes, an absolute type he is going for, then fine -- I can understand that, it's totally okay with me. But I have to say (and I don't mean to sound like some strange Narcissus staring into a pool) that though I have never been a classic, even-featured beauty -- far from it -- the person I saw reflected back in the mirror - I'm sure I looked very nice. Over the last three-and-a-half years I have undergone a transformation, lost a ton of weight - I really don't know how much, but I have dropped a number of sizes --

I have grown into myself, into my looks
I really have
and maybe I'm not even done yet

I glanced at snapshots of myself from a few years ago
and realized how much I had just "lost the way"
but that's not true anymore
no, I'm a goodlooking - handsome? (I'm not sure what that means sometimes) woman - definitely height-weight-proportional

I'm just starting to figure out the craigslist acronyms --
did I mean HWP?
I had to google "420"
oh, okay, that code - I was never interested in that
I still don't know what BBW is

I enjoyed my glass of wine at the bar
thinking of you, darling, you would have enjoyed it
and regarding myself too
on the eve of a major anniversary
I thought about how 25 years ago tonight
our Union Street apartment was full of
a few family members and friends, our closest relations
we were getting married the following morning, at City Hall
which we did

and that night we flew off to London on our honeymoon
and I remember looking out the window
as the jet approached Heathrow
no - before that even
after we had finished crossing the wide Atlantic
and it was dawn over - Ireland?
some greenscape
(not Tahiti)

at (p.m.) in the background
as the proprietor arranged glassware
checked his Mac
sang under his breath along to, seemed to know all the lyrics to
all the songs that came on
Sting sang about fields of barley...

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Back from town, stopped at my favorite local Swoonery for a glass of wine. Sat at the long stylish blond wood bar. No classy (and flirtatious) guys at all there, bummer. I should have put a note in Craigslist that I'd be stopping by, and I just might have too, if I knew how to work my cellphone, or get Craigslist to accept my darn phone number already. What is a staid married woman bustin to break out to do? Oh sweetheart, so I had a nice time with myself, sipping my glass of delicious cool Spanish rioja, dreaming of you, dancing in my seat a bit to the club-beat music on in the background, fiddling with my freshly trimmed brunette shoulder-length hair that my hairdresser approvingly noted has highlights in it, possibly an effect of my daily walks in all weather, including winter sun, thinking of you, wishing you were seated next to me on a barstool, and I would have asked you - with reference to a large painting above the bar, of a zaftig maiden, reclining in a posy-strewn field of blue, hat clapped on her head, unsmilingly staring at I suppose the painter, her breasts large, thighs gargantuan, legs folded beneath her, not sexual really at all, more very Columbia County "sustainable agriculture" kind of chaste painterly cheesecake - who's thinner, me or her, and the correct - and wholly accurate answer would have been - me. And not only because I tried on a pair of pants today -- and have dropped a size! - and bought a slinky tee in XL... for a size 14 (at 5'6") I'm looking pretty - well, maybe not slinky, but like -- in resume terms -- I "have something to offer"

Oh sweetheart, how are you? I know you're aching to bust out too, I wish we could do so together. I felt like dancing with you this afternoon, was forced to dance by myself, at the wheel, as I drove back home. An awesome song came on, one of my favorites -- I'm not a good dancer, not on a dance floor, but that song just makes me want to move. It's so sensuous. Also it made me want to do other things, with you...

Oh darling, I bet you're just amazing... you looking so buttoned up and conservative all the time... oh I wish I could just get you in the front seat of a car doing 30 and let it rip...

Silliest post ever, darling. Hope you're having a wonderful time wherever you are. Love you. I dream about you all the time, and fantasize, and not just in church. Oh my word.

Let me speed-dial you from my barstool at the Swoonery. Darling are you there? Come over here and park your beautiful handsome wry awesome self next to me and let's surreptitiously touch legs under the counter while you buy me another glass of that Spanish white. I'm glad one of us works for a living -- that elixir is $10 a glass...

Ah, but telling about it, and all my wondrous kisses for you --- free, free, free---

Friday, February 10, 2012

Female Cyrano

Darling, do I need to invest in an airbrushed professional portrait, instead of willynilly sending out any old snapshot of Cyrano me? I am not for the random Craigslist world, I learned. I answered a personal yesterday, first time ever in my life - I don't know what prompted me - yes I do, a whole series of events, a concatenation. A nice game of online table tennis ensued - until trading of pix time. He went first. He's very goodlooking, undeniably, plus photogenic. I can't say that he was my type -- and he didn't hesitate to let me summarily know same when I managed to scrounge a couple of recent images of me -- but one recognizes handsome looks, though I can't say that that's what motivates me, so much. That's not what had attracted me to him - it was his 'voice' online. And I explained that I am quite sure that I look better in person (when I apply myself to go out, especially) than in any photos. I think he was looking for another "model" beauty - as he is - no I was never that. Maybe I shouldn't have quipped "Slavic Venus" in reference to myself, when he said in his ad that he prefers busty, voluptuous, & curvy. Well, darling, I am all that - am I not? Though possibly I was thinking more Slavic Venus figurine. Well what do you want from a 52-year old? Who was he expecting -- Vera Farmiga? And besides -- she's thin & petite, even if she does have long legs. If "Tom" is reading this -- and if looks really are, in your heart of hearts (or whatever part) that paramount to you -- then, please, ask for a photo sooner -- before I've done so much typing, and sharing --

Ah, I'll get over it darling, of course I will, I just got a bit singed playing with matches for the first time in 25 years. (That very anniversary, this weekend.)

You know, love, sometimes I wonder about you -- the uncanny Portrait of Dorian Gray page hit - was that your commentary - sandwiched in between his looking up the blogpost in which I'd included a quick snapshot of myself -- followed by, mere minutes later, another pagehit (from you?) of Branwell, effaced behind the pillar? You know, sometimes I just can't help but string a short rebus-like narrative from coincidences such as that (these were the only hits that registered the entire day, and came within moments of each other). That somehow you were aware of his images, and of mine -- and "Dorian Gray" was your astute assessment... and the inevitable happened, verdict returned, and with a cursory note I was handed the rejection slip

it was harsh
whatever his fine looks - I fault him on lack of finesse

but then your Branwell hit came, dearest, as though, from behind a pillar, you're always there for me, looking out for me

call me an utter heathen but when I went into the church for an hour or so to work through some of the hymns, I shed a few hot tears (like fitful, fleeting dashes of rain on a torrid summer day), and while - particularly considering the setting where I was - this venerable ancient old church that sometimes seems haunted - and not necessarily by You-Know-Who (His Presence, presumably a Given) - but by strange noises - a cat miaowing, a woman's soprano voice singing as I play organ, a door slamming shut at the back of the church - when I'm there by myself

perhaps I should have offered a prayer, or thanks, or asked for help from the more obvious entity to acknowledge in that setting

instead all I could do, as I sat at on the wood bench of the organ,
all by myself in that still, strange, lovely church

was to think of you dearest
and utter your name a few times - your real one, that is
and then - out loud - at one point, simply exhale
Branwell, Branwell -- thank you

to Pune,
India at 11:47 a.m. - thank you

to Grand Rapids,
United States at 11:56 - thank you

New York,
United States at 11:50


Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655)

Boris Olshanskiy (1956, Russian), Slavic Venus, 2007, oil on canvas, 31.5 x 26.4 in. (link here)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A beautiful springlike day here, wondering if the bulbs are popping up where you are, because supermarkets here are starting to be filled with tulips, and with daffodils.

I just love the stained glass window surrounds in the church -- aren't they wonderful? - fecund imagery in brown & orange, reminiscent of bulbs sprouting from the earth - I'd love to know more about the origin of this artistry....

[Moments pass... the church is on the National Historic Register and I just tried looking it up - but gave up, not instantly retrievable, it seems... another time...]

Oh sweetheart, I have a sense of maybe just maybe springtime coming

Got in 2-1/2 of the triathlon, not quite hitting the mark. Practiced again today on the church organ. I would say that the only hymn so far that truly doesn't work on it is He's Got the Whole World In His Hands. Ouch. All the other straight-up hymns are just fine. And I had fun ripping through very badly the little I could recall of Bach's Toccata & Fugue -- you would know it instantly if you heard it -- it's sort of mad & macabre (was it in Phantom of the Opera? - I never saw any version but wouldn't be surprised). It's great fun to try to play on organ though, the instrument it's intended for. And then, just for fun, I hammered out a couple of Bach inventions - again, very badly, so many mistakes - but it reminded me of how much I have always enjoyed polyphonic music, different lines weaving in & out, very conversationally. I say this and this and this and this.... and you respond thus and thus and thus and thus ..... and then we interweave those lines -- and add a question -- an interrogatory -- followed by a response -- and then an aha! ... so that's what you meant by that.... and an aside -- that suggests another expository line.... followed by - I know just what you mean and here's how it was for me ---

that's what those inventions have often been like for me -- conversations -- lively dialogues -- in abstract, archetypal form --- very engaging, exciting - fun to play

Dearest Branwell
effaced behind your column
I wish you & I could play in just that way

I am
there you are
my moon
my sun
have a wonderful day darling -
til later

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

my view
looking upward

as I'm seated
at the organ

Hello darling, I hope all is well with you & happy. I wonder where you are, and my vibe is that you're stateside - but I don't take it too seriously - or wonder too hard - against gaslighting - whatever, I know you're always with me, wherever you are

I'm feeling a little faded just now, also a bit scattered. And hungry. Though lunch was delicious -- a salad composed of organic mixed greens, roast beet, walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, leftover roast turkey, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. But that was hours ago. I managed a trifecta. Oh honey, I get louder & louder. What am I going to do when the warm weather comes? And so I admit I've been trying to look into other options -- I mean how am I supposed to get out of my situation? Which, by the way, I - I don't think confessed is the right word, it wasn't so formal - but told the R. yesterday. She & I met yesterday and talked, and the two of us, it seems to me, are amazingly simpatico. And I suppose really that's all I can say, but I was amazed at how very freely I felt able to share even some admittedly ambiguous aspects of myself, such as the fact of this blog, and its nature. Anyway, it was the most amazing conversation - incredibly wideranging, freewheeling, treating of all sorts of subjects. I told her - I felt so uncomfortable! - about D - and she asked, in her professional role, if we wished counseling and I was very inarticulate and said no, that at this point I wished --- anyway, she couldn't have been more kind. And I was able to tell her too that I was un-used to formal religion at this point, though I consider myself to be spiritual, that I felt uncomfortable about taking communion - not if I'm not 'fully there' with it. And she said that's okay - just come up, and cross your arms - she demonstrated what I should do, folding her arms across her chest - and I'll know what that means, and I'll just give you a blessing. And I said - with great relief - I will be very happy, and very comfortable to do that, I didn't even know it was an option. It was all really quite an extraordinary hour - it could almost have been a play - these two women, of completely different - cloths - conversing so frankly & so freely within the confines of this ancient beautiful church, that the two of us had to ourselves, as we went over the 'stage directions' as it were, of when I would come in, when the time comes... because I've been having anxiety dreams about it, a bit - messing up. Anyway -- it couldn't have been more wonderful.

And today I practiced, sat down for the first time, the place to myself, at the organ, and went through - or halfway through - a long list of hymns for me to become acquainted with, some of which fortunately I already am. I'm a quick study that way, as far as reading sheet music. The organ itself though is much more elusive & challenging. I really don't know about the stops, and how to negotiate two "manuals," that is keyboards -- let alone foot pedals. I ended up, today, just playing one of the manuals -- the lower one, as though it were a piano. And even as I sight-read my way through some new hymns, at times haltingly so as I tried to work out chords, I thought the music sounded credible -- though at times, I admit, I was put in mind of organ swells, signaling that stakes are large & building, at the old Yankees or Mets Stadiums...

Hi sweetheart. I wish we could make it work somehow. Oh well this is it. Love you. xoxo

reply to

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The most beautiful cloud bank past sunset - I was astonished -
it was as though the Catskills ridge, usually blue, low, and mellow, like a placid sea, had risen up in a peaceful way - keeping its placid distance - like a whole new mountain range, one that had eclipsed the ancient Catskills, or perhaps huge ocean breakers,
a whole line of them, a front - a weather front - perhaps that's what that was -

what meteorologists blandly standing before a board
refer to as "the front moving in"
only these clouds weren't that -- it was some extraordinary visual effect perhaps a result of Arctic air masses "stuck in Canada and Alaska" on a collision course with silly low-pressure systems from the South that created this huge banking ridge rising up

not like a tsunami
because with those devastating waves
the water recedes dramatically first
then comes up on land
but in a creepy way, not some huge tall
most awesome surfing wave ever as on the North Shore of Oahu
but rather in a way that runs its fingers all the way up
and further past most tides or washes of waves do
I think of those video images of the improbable tsunumi in Japan
last year
and the wave - a single one, as I recall, or one at a time
ran up the shoreline - okay so far so good - so what
then kept going, rightward & rightward on my little TV screen
without stopping, it just kept going
it came up the harbor, and swallowed a boat, and a bridge
and moved onto land
obliterating what mostly looked like parking lots
(but this was a mix of video images, cut together
because also it came, just as insidiously, and crept up the
gentle slope - of a densely populated town)
all those people - the ones who didn't manage to scramble themselves up
to the designated hillside "high-ground" top
where they observed in safety the monstrous wave swallow up their past
and it was a low small insidious wave
not dramatic at all
unlike the gorgeous and utterly safe effect
that I glimpsed from the aerie this evening, my love
and lowered the top half of the window
disturbing an asparagus-fern that's been reaching toward the light
through the slats
and snapped a couple of photos
first one, then, with just the slightest adjustment of my wrists
trying to decide what was most beautiful -
the clouds, or the sky, or the gorgeous black outlines of trees
(and Szymborska - ha! - had once observed a black outline of sun!
my childhood self feels vindicated! - aha! it does occur in nature, or in poetry after all!)
and I heard children calling
playing outside in the middle distance
hearing perhaps from where they were
the mysterious woman lowering her window
and snapping a picture without the flash
of safely distant dramatic sky