Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hi sweetheart, up in the downstate aerie, a very sweet peaceful tabby, 17 years old, fast asleep a few feet away, distinctly smiling -- she looks as though she's experiencing pleasant dreams, on several levels - in her own feline unconscious sleeping mind, and also in the idyllic unchanging environs, this tiny airy study, upper screened window opened, emitting the ongoing rhythm of street noises, gentle up here, three flights up, the occasional whoosh of a car passing, voices in conversation, indistinct, and now a whistling, an infant crying. Fans about me circulate the air pleasantly - it's warm today, but not humid at all, so perfect. (And now a siren, and another car passing, and the soft whir of fans). I had a very enjoyable day, though it didn't go quite as I'd expected. I luxuriated around here this morning, simply enjoying being by myself in this comfortable private space, and so very meanderingly went from one moment to the next after I woke, after sleepless hours in the middle of the night, but then restful sleep, waking past dawn, lying in bed resting for a while, very peacefully, and then feeling nicely rested and ready - I got up around 6:30. (Isn't that what each of us does, every day, rise up, as if from the dead - a gesture of hope, on each and everyone's parts, if ever there was one.) I woke at the computer, scrambled soft eggs for breakfast, and then the morning seemed to suggest itself into... oh, why don't I give myself the spa treatment. And so I gave myself a bit of a home pedicure, neatened up my toenails and carefully dabbed on fresh coats of dark pink lacquer; our friends have a very brightly lit bathroom with a built-in magnifying mirror - so I could see in what a horrifying state my eyebrows are in -- it hardly matters! because my brows are so light, and I'm blind, and I assume that most men in whom I might be interested, who might be interested in me - wouldn't be so concerned about the state of my eyebrows, since they aren't dark dramatic arches -- still, it felt nice to, now that I could view them as if under a microscope, trim the faint underbrush a bit. And I shaved my legs with a cheap plastic razor that I'll confess I rummaged in their pharmaceutical pantry of a closet to find -- I'd been so busy with housework upstate that I realized to my horror that I'd neglected to shave my legs before My Big New York Trip. Though again -- no one would ever notice, the hair on my legs is so scant, and light -- and yet -- it's psychological. And so too, I contemplate shaving other areas - but I figured - not today - I do so much walking in the city - I don't need to be in some public place - say strap hanging on the IRT - seized with an uncontrollable itch. And I carefully let my toes dry, and straightened up the place, and shampooed my hair, and combed it out with conditioner while standing in the bright white tiled shower, and rubbed lotion on myself, and stepped out of the tub, and placed a towel around me, and let my hair dry naturally, it's light brown or dark blonde, and it dries in waves, reminding me, when I look in the mirror, of that "Slavic Venus" image. But then I took a brush to it, and a hair dryer, and blew it dry. Dearest -- I could go on like this forever, would much rather murmur such inconsequential details in your ear... I really do have to cut to some sort of chase... I ended up spending the afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum... and I can hardly contain myself in joy - could hardly, there - I saw - in person - I had no idea beforehand that it would be there - the magnificent painting by Pierre Bonnard -- Siesta. I was so excited that I whipped out my camera (whipped out probably isn't the word, my bag has so many zippers whatever it is that I'm looking for - wallet, readers, hairbrush, pen -- takes three or four passes to find. Which of course attracted a security guard's attention. But I did manage a shot of it, just to prove that I was there, in the very presence of the actual painting. I was so thrilled, I can hardly tell you! (I wish I could show you the painting here, but I'm not at my own computer -- but it should be easy to find --- 'pierre bonnard siesta' ought to do it. And I'm going to sign off here, darling. Not a poetic post at all, just a very longwinded one, so many sensations to try to impart to you. And there is more I would like to say about my absolutely marvelous experience at the Met today -- but -- I would just be going on too long. Dearest love, many kisses, oh - I'm so glad that for some strange reason the 1 p.m. matinee of Exotic Marigold was inexplicably canceled! Yours, in recumbent face-down splendor, as in that beautiful Bonnard - Belle

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Up in the brownstone aerie, experiencing a joyful, pleasant sense of exuberant well-being. I'm in the nude, tapping keys, freshly showered with a new bar of lemon verbena soap, one of my treats that I pick up for myself on my occasional sojourns to the city, which at moments, turn into talismanic treasure hunts. And so, after the Cindy Sherman show at MOMA, I strode down Fifth Avenue in my Dora Maar gear -- stylish, elegant skirt outfit, ruined, most likely, by skechers, rather than elegant sandals on pedicured feet. Or maybe I looked okay -- I caught glimpses of myself now & then, and was surprised to see how shapely my calves are, my whole physique really -- I mean, I'm middle-aged, have pounds to lose from my middle, I'm full-bodied to begin with - but you know? not bad, if I say so myself -- which I hope is saying a lot -- because, as women tend to be of themselves -- I'm my own worst critic! Another talismanic stop, into the side entrance of Saks, and I know just where the perfume counter is that I want, and so I spritzed myself with my favorite fragrance, which I actually own, and had applied after my morning shower, but it had long since faded... And then I dashed out again, barreled on a vigorous walk down Fifth Avenue, finally bailed at 16th Street... I had thought I might actually try to walk all the way home, down many more blocks more, and across a bridge, and down through Brooklyn neighborhood streets -- but I gave out, it was too much, and so I picked up the F train at 14th Street. And am glad I did, that I didn't wear myself out unnecessarily, because I felt very in need of an encounter for myself, especially with a new toy that in my insomnia overnight didn't work out for me. (Sidelight: I love to make love in daylight, during the day, when I'm fresh & awake & happy & vigorous & really able to focus. I mean, in the evening, I tend to have a few glasses of wine (yeah, I know - a shocker!), and I enjoy that as I sit down & type to you... and then afterward, I'm done - I don't drink more than that, I eat dinner... but I tend to be exhausted and done for the day. I'm 52 now, 53 in August, and not to age myself, but it simply isn't for me the way it was in my collegiate youth -- yeah, sure, drink coffee in the afternoon, drinks at night, and then have wild sex in the wee hours... And actually, for too many years, that's about roughly how it went... and it seemed adequate at the time... but things have changed, time has passed, I've become restructured I really love making love when I'm absolutely 100 percent, no artificial stimulant, such as wine... just simply my bodily corporeal self, and my mind truly being able to attend and to focus, including onto you, dearest lover... So I saw a movie this morning ("Hysteria") whose subject was - in essence - the female orgasm, and the psychic necessity of it -- which oddly, I suppose to make the subject even vaguely playfully approachable, lent to the (temporary) desexualization of (as we know now, randy) Victorian men.... And there is something to that. I feel so much better, after such a release -- I look forward to more, and with... I thought of you today, you were in my thoughts... and also I caught -- since my friends have cable TV down here -- a rare treat, Barefoot Contessa episode... I'd had my session with myself (oh effective, thank god!), and then bounded up to check the cat's plate, start preparing my dinner, and I thought --- oh Barefoot! maybe she's on -- moreover, it was a doubleheader, not her best, but ones I hadn't seen before... and sometimes I worry and wonder about encountering a man who seems incredibly sweet & sexy, and I wonder, could our worlds ever mesh -- but then I see Ina put on a beach party -- no kidding, an intimately-scaled oceanside beachside BBQ, a small circle of family & friends on one huge blanket on the sand, and then afterward, as the sun sets, they all make, at Ina's exuberant suggestion, somemores at the grill... and I feel so joyful and happy vicariously witnessing that, as I putter about this apartment, not even, this week my own and I think -- oh! I could do that! I'm not such the recluse -- I love doing that! Maybe if I were to encounter another man's children, ever -- maybe Ina could (in my quieter way) could by my inspiration... because I love to cook, and I love for others to feel welcome and happy, and loved... goodnight for now, launching without proofing - I don't have the energy to proof & edit, the font is smaller, on this computer, not my own all my love, exuberantly so, yours, Belle

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sitting here in the nude, tapping keys, much as my usual, only a hundred miles or more south... there seems to be a sexy theme to my days, these days. I arrived here in mid-afternoon, met with the wife of the couple we're friends with – she, they, are in shock that D and I are on the outs, very upset about it, I can see why, we all lived together in the same building (different apartments) for more than ten years. We were all fixtures. But things change, not all marriages last. Across the street, the beautiful brownstone building, occupied for many years by a couple and their children, whom I had fantasized about -- they seemed like the absolute dream couple, both very educated, distinguished, cultured, incredibly prestigiously employed, in their respective professions, in the fine arts. And they are history. The building has been sold, or is perhaps on the market -- at any rate, it's been vacated, the window boxes - always a glorious exuberant joy, filled with blooms, they had a flair for that - empty, barren. Funny thing is, the neighbor in whose apartment I'm staying didn't know the whys and wherefores. I helped her load her car, for her drive upstate -- to my house! And she gestured and said, oh they got divorced and had to move. I said, I know -- that is, I knew about the divorce, because it had been in the press. And I told my friend the reason why - that he had come to terms, in his late middle age, that he was homosexual. And so now that saga, as I observe it very much from the periphery - but talk about a stage-set - is over. That building is empty. And I never knew them at all, never once said hello, across the street, and yet I saw them nearly every day, morning and night, for many years, and observed their young family grow up too. And will never forget, I don't think, the distinctive sound of their front garden gate, signaling one of the family's arrival, or departure.

So after my friend left for the drive upstate, I returned to the apartment and took all of five minutes to unpack my bags -- a few tees and a couple of skirts, toiletries, etc. I left my "toy" at home, figuring I'd take a welcome, delightful stroll up Bergen Street to the Slope to a woman-centered toy shop, that I just love, and has been a real life saver for me. I confidently strode in, an old hand at this now and said, I'd like a 'nubby G' - which is a rather unattractive bright blue silicon toy, suggestive though not anatomically correct -- but with AA's ever re-charged, and with my mind cached with fantasies -- it's very effective. I have a 'fancier' toy, from that shop, that cost four times as much, and it doesn't do the trick - I don't even use it any more. So when the clerk said they were out of stock, and then graciously volunteered to go through the motions to check inventory of the Soho shop, only to learn - which I overheard, and was then personally informed -- that it's been discontinued by the manufacturer -- that was very very bad news to me - it really was! It had never occurred to me that an affordable, effective toy might cease to be manufactured...

And this bit of bad news came on top of other discoveries I'd made, as I'd simply taken a walk, albeit purposefully, around the 'old neighborhood.' Sweet Melissa's is no more? Are you kidding me? It was a very delightful tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe, with the most amazing pastries & cakes, enticing confections, expensively priced. It seemed like such an institution around here - well, I mean, I personally had always found it unaffordable - but if, sometimes on a weekend, we'd spring for a $5 take-out tiny slice of goat-cheese cheesecake - which sounds improbable, but was divine... as were their overpriced, almond-and-apricot "Queen's cakes" that are like the Polish Easter cake, mazurek. So, I note, a little dispiritedly, that this effervescent, extravagant sweets shop has been turned into a test prep tutoring/coaching center, for all those standardized exams...

And now this - my favorite toy - discontinued! Too much change! And not in the 'positive' column, though on other fronts, I don't know, yes, there is change, in the positive column... so I'm okay. And feeling really happy, and hopeful, even as I told my friend (who's at least 10 years older than me) - Yes - I am feeling really happy, and hopeful - I decided that I wish to live, that I wish to be happy.

I ended up buying a different toy, since "nubby" is no longer available, something that takes AA's.. and it seems powerful enough (more! I want more). And another bottle of lube... all insurance policy against lonely times in a beautifully spankin'-clean house upstate. And yes, maybe I'm becoming a bit more openminded about the idea of light spanking. You know - that youporn? I am learning so much! But I won't feel free to download any on our friends' computer, not my own, with "guest user" privileges, upon which - inadvertently on their part - all sorts of "parental blocks" were going up, the instant I tried to check for email messages from you, dear, or cryptic images from you - dearest (will I see you next month? I hope so, but if I don't, my hopes won't feel quite as dashed as they had been at Christmas. Do you know, I hope one day, that we can be in each other's company, and hold hands, and you can tell me everything that's been going on with you...)

I haven't tested out the new toy yet, and am not even in the mood to, but will note -- well, at last Sunday's service, the Rev M lost me just a tiny bit when in her sermon she started to go on about "signs and wonders..." -- rather more literal proofs of the manifestations of Spirit than I'm ordinarily comfortable with... But on my walk back from Park Slope, over the Gowanus Canal (yeah Canal! now Superfund site!, now might sing Walt Whitman), I crossed from this intimately-scaled yet industrial landscape in a matter of a few steps into a leafy brownstone residential shade..... And someone -- a woman I presume, had laid out a handful of books "FREE!" as a couple of post-its announced… among them faded volumes of Wuthering Heights and Lady Chatterley's Lover. There were no more than a dozen paperbacks in all laid out on the stoop, some having to do with new-parenting -- sign-language with your baby -- I don't know - I don't have a baby - I didn't examine those "what to expect" volumes but another one did catch my eye -- and sits right here on this desk now, as I type to you -- You On Top, it's called -- about skills a woman such as myself needs to know... And so that will make for great bedside reading... learning pointers about getting myself back out there – and not just watching videos (which I can't even, from here) -- but encountering him in all his amazing corporeality... me, thrown if not around his shoulders, then around his face, on top -- okay darling, probably that last line - I know it needs editing… I have imaginings and tomorrow's another day -- many kisses

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hi sweetheart, collapsed here yet again, in my altogether. It's sunny and hot, though quite tolerable as it isn't humid. But I'm beat because I ended up not cleaning the baths today, but instead doing battle, some, with the overgrown lawn. D's been doing some minimal mowing the last week or so -- a little too minimal for my taste, and plus areas he did a week or 10 days ago - needed to be clipped again. I would like to see the beautiful trees we planted stand out as distinct features in the landscape. I attacked one perimeter of our property, where the grass was waist-high, and inadvertently almost plowed over a baby pine tree we'd planted as a seedling -- it was completely inundated by all the tall grass around it --- and then I remembered we'd planted a small row of them, three or four, and sure enough, there they were, absolutely buried in the tall grass. So now they've been liberated, and between D and me, we mowed enough that if our Brooklyn house-swapping friends wish to take a leisurely stroll about our garden, drinks in hand, there is now a mown circuit, in which they can pleasantly revel at how peaceful it all looks --- oh, they have no idea! But of course - that's as it should be, for guests. I would like for them to feel that things are serene, effortless... I mean, that I made an effort for them -- for example, fresh flowers - roses - in vases all over the house -- but not that it was any kind of Major Project. Which it was -- and believe me, though it was a hardwon and exhausting battle, some incremental real progress was made on the house, such as a brand new really lovely Indian crewel-embroidered sheer curtain now hanging at the laundry room window, and so that that room looks a bit more intact from the so-called dining room (since there is no closed door between them), D even put on a coat of white primer on the bare drywall -- so suddenly, at least visually, that room is quite pleasantly tolerable, at least at a glance. Don't look too closely. Oh, at this point I don't care a whit about infrastructure... yes, I want things to look nice. Even if it's just an illusion... oh so what? It's all theatre anyway, a lot of it - isn't it?

I made nice gestures in the hospitality department ... baked cookies (oatmeal raisin chocolate chip, all combined), a plum coffee cake (that is, with last season's thawed plums - no armagnac, or vodka), and even a number of individual little pizzas, all from scratch, including the dough -- that's been rising explosively in a bowl on overnights -- I've found it in the morning puffed up like the top of a chef's hat, plastic wrap clinging to the top of it, the rubber band that was to hold things fast - clear across the room. And it's delicious... we'll all break bread together -- in absentia. I will probably lunch on mine tomorrow, on the train... D might microwave his in whatever vacant apartment he's camping out in... and our Brooklyn friends might enjoy theirs -- well, perhaps after that stroll around the mown garden. So peaceful here, unlike crazy Brooklyn!, I can almost imagine the wife of the couple dreamily sighing.

Crazy Brooklyn! I am looking forward to some serious R&R there, in their beautifully appointed fourth-floor walkup, peaceful treetop aerie -- mercifully, no work at all!

Many kisses, thinking of you, very much....

love, Belle

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hello darling, so I returned to the ice cream shop this afternoon, intent on 'prune armagnac' -- which, to my surprise wasn't even on the board at all today. Pistachio was far from my mind, so single-minded was I in my scattered purpose today -- no, it had to be the prune. And it seemed that it wasn't to be had, until I approached the big counter, with all the gallon cartons of the day's flavors... and there, tucked in, by its lonesome, was a single serving in a cup of the very flavor I was there to seek!

Although I have to say that - not that I was disappointed -- but it just didn't taste like what purported to be. It didn't taste of prune, or plum, or armagnac, or any liqueur at all - just thick, delicious, very sweet cream -- of which three or four plastic spoonfuls as I returned with the prize to my car -- were more than sufficient.

But now, since, I've just, to my very great surprise, gotten the most delightful foretaste of another flavor on the board... oh any of the flavors, really, pick one -- I thought, initially, fig & sweet cream (and said so) but it could just as well be sweet lime

many kisses, this Memorial Day weekend
maybe these are the sorts of wishes that those who lost their lives for us
dream of, from heaven above
that they have a chance
oh to lick that ice cream
or that popsicle
whatever flavor
before it all melts away...

all my love, darling -
yours, Belle

it was such a beautiful day today, in Hudson

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello darling, it's turned into a beautiful sunny afternoon, humidity's breaking, and so, especially after a short nap, I'm feeling better, refreshed. I overdid it last couple of days with the housecleaning, and it's still not done, but I just wasn't up for any more today, especially with the air so thick. I could hardly get myself to move. But I went through, at least, motions. Edited yesterday evening's post -- what was I thinking? I think that was one of my single worst posts ever. Quality Control was AWOL. An icefilled tumbler of wine on top of my exhausted state didn't help. Also, I'd been in a tumultuous mood, for other reasons, wondering why someone with whom I'd thought I'd hit it off suddenly vanished. But he reappeared this morning... and it was as though the sun had come out. So I had to readjust my mood -- do a 180, like a big cruiseliner having to turn around. I mean, I was happy to be instantly happy again -- but then again, it took a while for the rest of me, somehow, to catch up to that.

I'm watching a youporn now, for my own edification, because I've had such a plain vanilla life, for the most part -- it's high time I find out about other flavors, that I've been craving, and I know others have too. So that's how it's done.

It's funny, having just written that -- this afternoon I was feeling very tired, yet restless - I lay down and thought if I could just fall asleep for real for ten minutes I would feel better, but my heart was racing, maybe too much salt in the packaged cheese tortellini (served with leftover kale-tomato-ground-turkey sauce) for lunch. D came home with the car, I got up and restlessly went downstairs, feeling hot and uncomfortable and out-of-sorts, and it occurred to me that something cool, delicious, and refreshing - an ice cream - might be restorative. So I took the car and drove into town, dreaming ice cream all the way -- pistachio, pistachio, oh that's what I want -- oh, and since I have $25 in my wallet, maybe a coffee too at the divine French bakery, and pick up a multigrain loaf for tomorrow's breakfast... I arrived at the bakery, and bought the bread, but frugality won out and I skipped the coffee -- besides, did I really need coffee in my semi-exhausted state? D possibly had some made, back at home. I crossed and walked a few storefronts up the sleepy, charming main street, to the ice cream shop, where young families lounged around on the steps and on the sidewalk, little children with their first cones. I perused the menu... prune armagnac, banana something or other, coffee of course -- I don't remember what else. But I was fixated on the pistachio - and there was none to be had - I verified with the clerk, who ruefully said "not today," and I said, "oh but that's really the only flavor I wanted right now," and the clerk understood, "I know, I know..."

And so I left the shop, drove back up the main street, and up the main highway, towards home. And arrived back home. No ice cream? No, the multigrain instead. That's no substitute. True, it isn't. But they didn't have pistachio.

I made do with delicious, molasses-infused dark bread, with a small wedge of local camembert pressed between, as I stood at the kitchen counter. Ah, like camembert ice cream.... oh it is divine.

Even if it isn't pistachio ice cream. Which, as I watch the balletic youporn now, which after hours of download, for an eight-minute film, I have arrived at the thrilling inevitable conclusion of -- I can completely see how a man would very very much like to hold out for strawberry-strawberry-banana.

love you
many kisses
hope your ice cream comes in all sorts of varieties darling
including 'prune armagnac' -- now I'm kicking myself a bit for not having availed myself - I wonder if it's anything like the elixir my aunt puts away late summers, when plums are in season, steeping for months, years even, in the recesses of her cool dark pantry, dark luscious fruit, purple-skinned and halved, pale flesh piled one on top of the next, quiescently dissolving, suffusing, letting go delicious flavor, perfume, intoxicatingly transforming, in the alchemy of angels, a gallon-jug of Pathmark vodka...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hi honey, up in the aerie, nearly collapsed after doing a whole bunch of hard housecleaning, on this dustbomb of an 1885 house. I do vacuum it twice a month, at least, but when's the last time I wiped the baseboards, especially after the winter? Dust is amazingly insidious - it settles on absolutely every tiniest horizontal or angled surface, vertical ones as well, if the electromagnetics are just right. Honestly I was feeling positively forensic in my minute once-a-year passes, in the form of swipes with a wet ‘spic-an-span’ loaded sponge, going after every surface I could find, while I was possibly even remotely motivated -- due to impending house-swap, not that our friends are such hard-asses, but, well one does wish to present one's best face.

Yes indeed, on my hands and knees, darling, scrubbing, and yes it was akin to the Francis Bacon image

and let me say too - in defense of this weeklong onslaught of housecleaning (believe me, this is unusual) - that it is the best workout ever. Never mind my lame ones to Oz or C.R. I keep up this regime -- and I'll be ready for a bikini! Or a thong! Like a Brazilian! and maybe a Brazilian. (Okay, so noted, how you like it - hey I get that, I'm just trying to imagine it, a bit. First of all, I'm going to have to do it myself - am I going to itch forever after? I really don't know the ropes on this stuff, I don't mean to sound like a clod. And obviously, this isn't the sexiest post ever.)

I had a wonderful session this morning, with myself & my imaginings, and I in a walk with weights around here too, as well. So that's good. Not quite the trifecta --- or, yeah - way so, with the housecleaning. The best, sexiest, trimmest, curviest figure I ever had --- was the summer, on the coast of Maine, that I spent as a chambermaid, in a B&B in Ogunquit, Maine. Now that was a workout. And you know -- there was no hanky-panky. Well, one paying guest, a guy, did try, when I entered his family's efficiency - but nothing happened, and I simply backed out. This was - summer 1979, maybe? Though, as a chambermaid whose hours effectively ended at four in the afternoon -- I had plenty of off-site fun, with the deliriously decadent and transient scene of the "below-stairs" types in the Ogunquit environs...

Oh anyway, darling, I only think of this now -- because truly my body -- which if I don't exercise very vigorously I instantly put on weight -- was rarely ever more beautiful than that summer that, days, I was stripping beds, scrubbing baths -- first Room 1, then Room 7, 13, 12, 11 (oh they're checking out today maybe a big tip!), 27, 14....

anyway, sweetheart, I'm fading now -- here is my day, recorded, in the tiniest, most inadequate form – but recorded nonetheless --

ah, tomorrow's another day -- oh, aren't I so fortunate? yes, I do feel that I am so, I am alive, and in quite comfortable circumstances, and with a sense of clarity, and with a loving and intriguing cast of characters around me... oh well, we'll see. We will see, won't we? It simply isn't, in the U.S.A., 2012 -- the previous generation's world anymore.

Aw, not to get heavy, or political. Having a hard time letting go... this message... good night, many kisses, sweet dreams, xoxo...

hitting send, because at this point truly (as I sit here typing) I need a shower...
I will be thinking of you, very much...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hello darling, sitting here, damp from my shower, towel wrapped around me, my hair, freshly washed, dripping wet. It's past six, but it can't be getting dark yet, yet it doesn't seem that overcast -- the light is that, nearly, of the gloaming, or of approaching dusk. Another day of heavy housework, in advance of the house swap. Today, the downstairs curtains and drapes laundered and ironed, and half the solarium scrubbed. I gave out before I could complete it. It's a very dusty room, from the pellet stove. Every surface needed a swipe -- such as each individual slat of the five wood blinds in the room -- I got to two. Etc., etc. So - tomorrow, I'll finish that room.

I'm sitting here, too, even as I type, feeling a little sad, and conflicted, and torn - about my blog, whether I should continue it or not. It just raises so many issues, that I'm grappling with. I've been putting myself out there (and I don't mean in this blog, I mean in trying purposefully to meet a potential serious love interest), and the fact of my blog -- well, some find it delightful, others - others I might potentially be interested in - are disturbed by it. Which I don't blame anyone for being taken aback. But I don't want to shoot myself in the foot with it either. I'm not Emily Dickinson -- I'm not prepared to give up the potential of true love for my writing. Or am I? Do I want to give up my blog - for a man? Does it have to come down to that? That's rather stark.

I don't know what I'm going to do, not tonight anyway. I don't really have to decide definitively tonight. But this blog's days may be numbered, so I guess I'm telling you that - again. I mean, I can't work against myself.

And you know, as frank as this blog has been, in expressing some difficult feelings I've had, grappled with issues, that I've never used it as some way to "out" anyone in any way. To say I feel that that would be "uncool" -- is an understatement.

I guess I just want to say, too, that I know people are justifiably very worried about their privacy and the internet. And I was doing a workout once to Anderson, and there are individuals out there who devote entire websites with the express purpose of "outing" whatever category of individual that they in their rigid belief system believe deserves the "scarlet letter" of their name prominently disclosed. I'm aware, for example, from that program, of a website that thus exposes "cheaters," men having extra-marital affairs, whose (presumably) disgruntled liaisons (I guess), go out of their way to vent their anger by projecting it in an overt act of exposure and public humiliation of the guy. Or woman (as the case may be). I imagine that that website (which I obviously won't dignify by even going through the blandest gesture to look for, I'm so -- 'not interested' is not the phrase - truly disgusted, that such a site would exist - that's more my feeling.)

So, I don't know. I write under a pseudonym -- so that I can be frank, in ways, about my feelings, and my experiences as a middle-aged woman -- or maybe, as someone thinks of me, as a woman in my prime. And yes, I do feel at a kind of "peak" in my life, my prime indeed.... oh I hope it's a cascading series of mountain peaks, truly, starting here now, and going on and on and on, for decades longer, well into my dotage.

So, I don't know, I'm wrestling with it, I don't have an immediate conclusion for the moment - except to note that I am not in search of material for my blog, in the form of for that reason looking for a relationship. Or turn that algebraic equation however you like -- I'm not looking for a relationship, as a way to provide content for my blog. No -- rather, my blog came about for me as a way to express myself, deeply, fully, somehow, to the ether, and then over time, one male muse or another, and sometimes both, and then back to one, transpired over the long trajectory of the two-and-a-half years of daily postings. It was as stark as this: without my blog, I had absolutely nobody, nobody at all, to communicate with, in any way, any kind of deeply human, intimate way. My life felt involuntarily silent and isolated... my blog was a way out of that... a singing bird. Not some passive-aggressive fast promiscuous hottie with a chip on her shoulder who has deep resentments against men.

Do you think that such a woman could write, the way I do, like this?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hello darling, are you alright? I wonder, from the few page hits I've received today, which I imagine (perhaps wrongly) are from you: the disturbing image of Francis Bacon's paralytic child, damaged, on all fours; an old post of mine, Notes of a Panic Attack; and a search this morning, landing on the lovely Picasso etching, of the Minotaur caressing the hand of the sleeping woman with his cheek...

Well, if they're from you, I don't have to spell it out for you... I wonder, and worry a bit, though completely hopelessly, because there is nothing I can do, save for what I'm doing at this very moment, which is thinking of you, and tapping these keys. I'm sure you don't have it easy, I don't see how you could with so much on your plate, but I do hope that things are manageable, tolerable.

I myself am so bushed, so beat at the moment, that I feel almost faint. But valiantly I type (sitting here stripped down to my braless slinky tee and panties, sipping from a refreshingly icefilled glass). It's gotten very sunny out, and warm, and it's been humid and rainy all week, so now things are quite steamy -- not just in my mind & body, which I unfortunately never did get around to today... ah well. I'm just back from a walk around here, with weights, and I tried to keep to the shaded areas, out of direct blazing sun, best I could, and so I cut through the vast cool green graveyard behind the church -- it's big as a Brooklyn city block, that ancient cemetery - that's how cheap real estate is around here. It's a beautiful plot of land, up on high ground, and I cut through to the back of it to what I imagine must have been an old Native-American trail, a pinestrewn path, so leafy and cool and peaceful, that leads pleasantly downhill and delivers me creekside to the road, where I usually end up anyway, via a longer no not circumlocutory - but circuitous route (this, a reference to a word I had a mind to amend this morning, from last evening's post, but never got around to).

Also exhausted because I did a hell of a lot of ironing today, all the upstairs curtains, in advance of the house swap next week. This place has its issues (e.g., a pair of huge stacked cartons, next to the out-of-tune albatross Steinway in the so-called dining room, containing --- now mind you, these cartons have been there for - five years? I've lost count -- bathtubs, intended for the bathrooms, that never got redone) -- but hey, at least all the linens will be clean.

I'm just riffing here, darling, very tiredly. I think of the TV series we've been Netflixing lately, called Modern Family. It's extremely witty and sharply observed - I highly recommend it - you get drawn into the madcap characters very quickly. Honestly, they're feeling like my family in a way. Well why not - since I don't have one! (I don't mean that bitterly, just shaking my head a little - what, ruefully, wryly? Ahhhh whadever... channel the Colombian-accented Sofia Vergara character rolling her eyes, sneering eloquently, and dismissing all with a sexy gesture of her manicured hand.)

Oh, right -- so my scenario here -- latter day version of "one of the causes of the French Revolution" -- "property rich/cash-poor" -- the forevermore stacked bathtubs in the paid-for house -- a small metaphor for the overdevelopment and subsequent collapse of Ireland -- right here, writ at my house. Call the series -- Modern Economy. And Mitt Romney can guest star in some episode... when he shows up, say, late one night in a raging blizzard, his dog strapped to the roof of his car, and he says to us -- we're standing around in our bathrobes, incredulous ("is that who we think it is?" that he's in our solarium), and he says, as D tries to fire up the pellet stove, but it's acting up again, and the cats have darted out the door into the freezing night -- that he's headed for Florida. Well of course, Florida, yeah, duh, we'd love to be there too, beaches, sun, palm trees, of course, as we stand there shivering in the cold night. But what's Mitt's reason, as he stands there grinning at us, not quite seeing us -- why is he contemplating moving to Florida? For the tax breaks.

No kidding, that's what I heard on C.R. today, from one or the other of his lame establishment pundits, As I Stood Ironing.

Oh sweetheart, yet another mess of a post, hope you're enjoying it. It's my typerly equivalent of hanging endlessly on a cellphone -- aren't you glad I don't do that? But if I did... well... perhaps a message such as this... if the phone on the other end had gone dead and I wasn't even aware of it -- well a transcript of such a monologue -- might well look like this.

Hi - sweetheart (shit, what's wrong with this thing?) - can you hear me now?

love you, hope all's well
many kisses -- thinking of you --

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hi Prof, Emma Bovary here. Stuck in rural provinces a hundred miles north of the city. Will be sprung to Carroll Gardens for a few days next week -- solo, catsitting for former neighbors. I would love some male companionship... and you sound wonderful... I'm a poetic writer myself -- age 52, full-figured (size 14/16), attractive. Perhaps you wouldn't mind tutoring a Wellesley grad who needs a refresher course --- well, in something or other? Belle
Okay, we'll see how that goes. It was good for a laugh. He's 46. Probably when he means he's dying to teach again, he means someone younger, not 'Continuing Ed.' But it did cause me -- oh these very circumlocutory ways to discovering poems -- to look up a reference -- the crack in the tea-cup opens -- the phrase he requested be placed in the subject line, so as to show that I am not "a bit of spam." Who says "a bit of" -- only -- I daresay -- a Brit. (And who says "I daresay"? Only someone who read too much Henry James at an impressionable age, and whose Polish parents spoke English with a British-inflicted -- no, I mean, inflected -- accent -- which caused my grade school mates to look at me askance with great wonder as we introduced ourselves first days of kindergarten and subsequent grades -- what are you from England or something? I was so screwed up as a kid!

Ah, but darling -- fortunately, ever so fortunately -- that was ages and ages ago, and now I have it all figured out, and everything's fine. I'm right on top of it all -- well, no, not quite, not in the way I'd like, which definitely played a role in my sweet session this morning. I have taken -- now that it's summery -- to ritually closing all the upstairs windows and also the door to the juliet balcony -- so that I might -- as though it were the dead of winter -- make all the noise, or whatever noise, I might possibly want to. And then I start downloading a youp*rn (usually disappointing, lately). It takes forever with dialup - yes, that is still our mode, one of my very many absolutely excruciating frustrations - I mean, why should I waste my time, suffer through a disappointing 'not right for me' youp*rn when, if I could just somehow get at them quicker, there is no reason among the possibly millions of recorded encounters - I would find the one that does it for me, for real? I have found that as much as I might enjoy, really revel, in a particularly good one (oh veex-en, as he clambers up the settee and she milks him from beneath, looking like a trollope in a Hammer film, the quality of the footage slightly grainy, and the furnishings in that color film, weirdly cheesy, bookcase filled with colored spines, the Empire-style settee...) -- I never wish to see it ever again, not twice -- I find that I am very restless, that way.

Right now, my book written by a different Prof, is, as it happens, sitting on top of the Fifty Shades of Gray, book --- suggestively. I'm about halfway through both. And honestly I'd completely forgotten about the latter, I find it so lame. Well - perhaps because, however solo, I've managed to craft an actual sex life for myself -- its frustrations aren't a result of lack of orgasm -- and amazing orgasm at that. Which makes me wonder -- because it takes me a while, even by myself -- and you have no idea how frenzied my imaginings are, riffling through image after image, scenario after scenario, cast of characters even, gender-switching, positions -- OMG -- like a card shark, riffling this way and that through my deck, my cache - mental cache - of cards... and then somehow -- ah finally, the one key that unlocks the door (cue up Nicole Kidman in The Others) -- and there I am, my mind (plus battery-operated highly targeted vibration) having taken my body -- as if through one of those Star-Trek portals -- into a completely different place, of involuntary vocalizations, and clear, unmistakeable -- the moment it hits, it's just - well, that's it -- it takes me forever to get there, with all sorts of machinations -- but then it's --

beyond my control, seismic. It's the most extraordinary feeling (duh!). I mean think of it -- so many of our bodily experiences are beyond our control -- I mean, I don't really, have a sense of how my digestive system works, for example, there's a lot that happens -- well, certainly without my willing it to happen.

So to have so much power, in a way, over one's body, and really be able to hit an involuntary ecstatic state -- I can hardly believe it.

And then I spring up, feeling very satisfied and gratified (because it's very frustrating for me, the many moments before, in which I feel so distracted, by all sorts of things - weak batteries, so I change them out; maybe someone replied to a message; what's fresh as to blog-stats? oh, now she's giving him a bj (at 1:17) when at (0:47) he was inside her -- oh, and is everyone, in these new times, all shaved down there, because I'm not, and I've heard of the term Brazilian, but = well, no, I don't shave, and not only because I've just had solo sex (if any) in recent years, but -- well, I'm going to lose it eventually anyway, so why rush it - I don't know, I sort of like hair!

Plus, I grew up on reading The Joy of Sex, sneak-peeks reading it, the volume on the night-table of the couple whose kids I babysat for many Saturday nights, c. 1975. It didn't phase me in the least that the man and the woman, in graphite-drawn oddly chaste embrace, had "pubes" -- the fact that she didn't shave her armpits -- for this fourteen-year old, then -- oh, eeeeew!

What do you think darling -- do you think I'm done? Ah, rolling over in bed. It was good for me. I hope it was good for you. If not, there's tons and tons -- here, take the remote, or the mouse, or maus, whatever.

Okay I'm done. Rolling over in bed, getting up, with my great big tall stiletto heels (oh, so that's what they're for - to grab onto - got it!). In the past I'd had a cigarette. Instead, now I'm hungry. What's for dinner? Oh good, cheese ravioletti, on a bed of garlic-sauteed kale, sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Oh good, I'm glad -- well, I'm glad it's all there, ready to go, on the stove downstairs...
'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hello darling, I wonder where you are, are you traveling again? It's a cool gray day, with periods of rain, much welcome for the garden, and for the birds, since I've neglected to fill the bird bath. I've been feeling achey today - due to the humidity? I really don't know. But maybe because the rain was falling in a soothing way, and my room was dark, and the house was quiet (as always), when I lay down for a nap, I fell fast asleep and for longer than usual, got up about an hour later. And it did invigorate me, and I set about to hanging up clothes, folded in a pile from the laundry, steaming cauliflower, running outside to snap a few pictures, and doing a workout.

I'm thinking about how I'm having very pleasant email exchanges with someone who works 60 hours a week, and he seems to cheerfully (?) admit, that he's done so for the last 30 years. And here I am, not working, puttering around, feeling achey, taking naps, not weeding. Trying to refer to, or think of myself as an artist -- well who needs that label, no not even I -- and yet what do I produce other than this blog? Is this blog enough? Someone else asked me today, in an email, "so you're a Professional Poet?" No, amateur poet, professional layabout...

Ah, I'm being hard on myself. I just read a thoughtful couple of essays by a super-intelligent, extremely well-educated twenty-something-year-old, who is feeling - despite all his achievements, and the support of his boomer-generation parents, that he's facing a different world altogether -- the world of the 1 percent calling the shots over the 99 percent. And he is worried (at least that was the subtext anxiety I got) that despite his intelligence -- it simply won't be valued in this new economy, this new iteration of an age of robber barons -- these ones faceless [despite Facebook!] and corporate -- that his very mind, his powerful intellect, his judgment as he grows more mature -- all of that, in this new economy, will be viewed - by the Masters - as redundant, expendable. In the name of efficiency, which hasn't reduced hours-per-week worked by most Americans, including the very most intelligent, creative, educated, vibrant ones -- who might have something other to show for their time -- all sorts of creative pursuits! -- other than logging in endless hours.

I think of this in light too, of how the landscape around here is so paved over. It's been hardscaped so much over the last 100 years -- I can hardly imagine what the next 100 will bring. The New Economy absolutely relies on lack of collective memory. Does anyone remember today, how the skies of this region used to darken with vast huge absolutely teeming flocks of birds -- aerial crowds of them, like moveable and doubtless noisy clouds? No -- these birds were, in fairly short order, shot out of the sky -- clearcut, in that fashion, which decimated their populations, rendered species extinct, and made it hospitable, possibly, for perhaps the scrappier of species, which - these days, outside my kitchen window - include blackbirds of some sort, tiny sparrows and finches... and I'm overjoyed always, if I see a rather desperately hungry-looking single tiny dramatically colored (black with red, yellow, and white markings) grosbeak managing to salvage the last few seeds from the very bottom, which bigger birds can't quite get...

No, I'm not a professional poet, or even really a poet at all, not in formal sense anyway. I sit down at the end of every day and come up with written "snapshot" of my day -- I do these in letter-form to my "male muse" (a friend of mine -- but we're completely unavailable to each other, due to geographic distance, committed marriage (on his part), etc. -- but we stay in touch in this fashion, with my daily little online notes to him, that often end up being quite poetic. Hence I think of myself as a writer - of poetic letters.
We're the rare grosbeaks, some of us around my age in my generation, who didn't quite, for whatever reason, 'fit in'.... and that young man, and many others, of his up and coming one...

60 hours a week -- is that between your two jobs (the second being coyote-catcher) or the main one? That is a lot of hours -- but you seem okay with it -- those kind of hours were always too much for me... I know what you mean about the momentum. When I was working I just kept working... you put your feet to the floor, you show up, and you do it again the next day, and it's not so bad, and you (that is, I) don't have to think about it too much -- it's just what you do. When I moved up here and didn't have a job -- I really had to go through a long period of mental restructuring to deal with that. For at least a year or two, I felt very guilty and inadequate about it -- I mean, this is a world, and maybe our country especially with its culturally ingrained 'work ethic' -- in which everyone works. But I did finally manage to adjust to my new situation --- and now the momentum of working, of course, is gone, though I feel better about myself about it. I also wonder if part of my strange inertia might be cultural, in the sense that I'm first-generation Polish-American. My mother, who came from a very aristocratic family in Warsaw, raised me to be very cultured, educated, musical -- taught me refined tastes, but little if anything at all in terms of anything practical or common-sense. Which was hard for me -- since I wasn't going through childhood (let alone eventual adulthood) in pre-war Poland ... but rather in suburban Connecticut in the 70s!
Also, I'm very grateful to D that he found time to do a bit of mowing yesterday evening. The grass was so overgrown - nearly waist-high - I couldn't even bear to look at the garden -- and so I retreat here. But I stepped out this morning, and was blown away to see how the trees we (he) had planted six-seven years ago, are finally 'looking like something,' grown, substantial -- it is turning into a beautifully landscaped garden, after all. I think that once he -- or some vastly more powerful masculine or machine energy than me can mow the lawn -- maybe it wouldn't be so hard for me to push the gas mower around, and keep the lawn trimmed. Oh, who am I kidding? I have a hard time getting to the vacuum cleaner, dragging it out from where it's currently stashed right up here, on the other side of the stairwell. Ah, maybe I can let it go for this week, why not. Big major house/Brooklyn apartment swap slated for next week... I will be super-motivated - as the day (next Tuesday) draws near -- to swipe, vacuum, dust, everything in sight!

Oh, and there's just now, as I'm getting ready to hit 'publish post', a gentle rain falling...

many kisses, sweetheart, wherever you are
hope everything is well with you
or as well as can be expected, in your generation
and in that - older, and older still
and of that younger --
and even way younger, teenily so - still

love you
you are such a comfort to me
& joy
oh the rain is falling a bit harder now
the loveliest patter with the windows open
so many kisses

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hello my dearest, many kisses, up in the aerie in my near-altogether, it's just so warm out and the sun is blazing. Back from the conservation area, closes at eight as it turns out. Marched around there with my handweights. Saw the elderly gentleman with his dog, we greeted each other warmly, though I haven't been there, or seen him, in months. Wild white roses are coming into bloom, perfuming the air, and there was wild geranium, with delicate pink blossoms, and buttercups, opaquely vibrant as egg yolks. I am glad I didn't mess up in church, though the Rev. M. thought I had -- Belle, she said, surprisingly approaching me at the organ as I wound up a postlude of a movement from Handel's Water Music -- I had asked for hymn #594 -- not 544. The stuff my anxiety dreams are made of -- I was mortified, and said so. I'd jotted down the hymn numbers she'd emailed me a few days before – my note read 544. Well, no wonder I couldn't hear the congregation, since they were puzzling over #594 – we hummed along, said the Rev. M. with a wry smile. I'm so sorry.... But when I returned home I checked her message -- and - as I emailed her moments later - "I'm feeling just ever so slightly vindicated! You did write hymn 544 -- not 594. However, in the future, I will definitely, on Sunday mornings, cross-reference my list of hymns against the numbers as posted on the board, to double-check that there are no discrepancies."

Ah - life in this tiny parish -- it's always something.

Caressing the details here, darling, trying to, the miscellany of my day. I have had the loveliest messages this weekend from a CL contact in Holyoke, just so very warm & thoughtful, who corrected me as to what I wrote yesterday -- BTW Belle, never say NEVER on meeting one another...(-; And in one of his messages he explained how he loves some of the minutiae I write about of my days -- how, and now I'm paraphrasing him, he gets to know me this way from afar, sideways (a favorite word of mine, esp. since that wonderful movie with Paul Giamatti), or "aslant" - to use Emily Dickinson's word. I do get what he means, and he's a beautifully poetic letter writer himself, truly. And yet I'm the one who tries to "self-identify" as a writer -- well, no matter. A personal, heartfelt, non-cliched, thoughtful, original message is -- well, a thing of beauty, and of grace.

I was thinking of such matters, how there is great substance and texture and curiosity and interest in just the smallest details of life, any life. I have a hard time sometimes hewing to just those very mundanities -- or they can seem mundane -- and yet they're a miracle, the very simple phenomena of them. And I'm not even looking for blow-me-away miracles -- honestly, it's enough for me, if I really think about it, to enjoy so much being alive this very moment -- think of it! we're alive!! at this moment, and we won't always be, and think of all the hidden graveyards all over the place, in this county for sure, I'm constantly stumbling past overgrown tiny abandoned graveyards. But my point is -- wow! we're alive, we're sentient -- oh, this is our moment! And so truly, in that regard, absolutely no detail is too small, that isn't worthy of the most profound attention, even if that's not how we tend to focus ourselves -- and I don't. I have all my senses... and plus my cerebral mind... there is so much that I have to tune out... simply to make sense of the world, or to make it manageable. And most of us, probably, are that way.

I think now of the beautiful film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on a true story, a memoir, of a man who for some reason (was it a major stroke? I don't quite recall), lost most of his vision, and became paralyzed. (I saw it some years ago, and blogged or wrote to someone about it, I don't quite at the moment recall.) If I recall correctly, he had only the slightest bit of peripheral, or perhaps very blurred vision, an incandescently crystalline sense of his own consciousness. The only way he could communicate was by blinking his eyelid in Morse Code fashion -- and in that way -- once caring individuals on the receiving end figured that out -- he was able to dictate his memoir to a transcriber who'd sit with him, chanting "ah eh ee oh ew" and then the rest of the alphabet in succession, spelling out letter by letter -- and then solving crossword or game-show style for the word -- when he'd signal, literally, via a blink of his eye, the letter he had in mind.

Today at the service was a guest clergyman, very young, no older than late twenties or early thirties I'd guess, with his young wife there -- a very attractive couple, clearly well-matched even physically – both of them on the trim, spare, blonde side, and their baby boy, all smiles - revealing a single pair of brand-new teeny bottom teeth. The clergyman is a delight - he delivered the sermon. He is the 'youth director' for the diocese, and I can see why, given his own youth, and great joy & enthusiasm.

(Actually, it was the loveliest moment for me this morning as I hurried in my heels down the road, at 9:15, trying to get to the church on time (thinking even of that similarly titled song from My Fair Lady. Wow, that church -- I think it's literally a two-minute walk from my house, it's that close. And so -- Alice-like, even though I felt that I was rushing out of the house last-minute, late, late! for a very important date! -- by the time I arrived at the church, it was still 9:15 by my watch, and suddenly it seemed that I had arrived luxuriously, langorously, leisurely early! Ah, advantage - Belle!

And I observed, just as I was approaching the lovely old church, surrounded by tall pines (planted perhaps a hundred years or more ago) and an ancient graveyard -- I glimpsed, in the distance, the young clergyman, whom I'd never seen before, outside, in the beautiful green morning, in his pristine white vestments, communing with -- well, the absolutely exquisite moment that that moment was, and before the service was about to begin. I'm glad I saw him there - an apparition, all in white, I'd never laid eyes on him ever before - exquisitely standing there, like a white Easter lily -- and then I hurried into the church, and inside... )

The theme of the young clergyman’s sermon had to do with (of course) the morning's gospel reading, from John (sorry, I don't know which, precisely - the Rev. M. read it all so very movingly -- the very last chapter of John, she said, before she delved into the incandescence of it) -- it was all -- I am yours, and thine is yours, and mine is yours, and yours is thine... I'm completely paraphrasing here. But it was very beautiful, chanting, reciprocal, eternal, circular...

And the young clergyman delivered quite a lengthy sermon, prefaced by a prayer that he actually, in his exquisite very spiritual tenor sang, very movingly - actually, it was spellbinding, as though he was channeling a Negro spiritual, completely unaffectedly, very purely, just really really feeling and experiencing that - connection... it wasn't falsetto, but it was unusually high... and pure... and deeply felt... and thus expressed...

and the charming, enthusiastic young clergyman, with his young wife in a front pew rocking their young teething adorable baby boy -- told story after story, in his sermon, of miracles he'd found in his life, due to Jesus... and they were quite remarkable stories -- very much so -- "do you want me to tell you about the miracles that happened at my wedding?" he asked -- I thought not so rhetorically, of the mute congregation, the scant numbers of which mostly sitting towards the middle back. Yes, I said, from my seat at the organ...

and he laughed, and so did everyone else -- that I (anyone!) had dared to reply!

anyway, he told beautiful, charming, loving, whimsical, tale after tale of amazing tiny meaningful occurrences that transpired during he and his wife's outdoor summer wedding --- it was quite remarkable

and they were miraculous occurrences -- how the bride's wedding veil became lifted, at the apposite moment, by a sudden gust of wind

how a "wish candle" (like a Roman candle of sorts) that went off awry, and settled, still lit, high up in a tinder-dry pine... didn't set off a fire, that might have burned down the house, a forest... and instead - on fervent prayer - extinguished itself, and then even - a bit later - descended, branch by branch, downwards down the pine... stopping just out of reach... where the bridegroom's father, had to get a branch to joyfully and serenely retrieve the now-safe spent candle, holding it aloft and triumphantly returning with it – like a stag draped around the father's neck - I don't know, maybe I'm mixing metaphors here...

So - I'm not at either extreme. I'm not so severely challenged that it is an absolute miraculous force of will to be able to experience life, and in turn to give thanks, and validation of one's presence, via expression. Nor do I look for serendipity or kismet (words that sprang to mind as the young clergyman told his story) when it comes to acknowledging.... well... Love... at its profoundest.

And so I am very grateful -- here I am somewhere in an extremely privileged middle -- alive right now, enjoying myself -- not severely handicapped, and not really feeling the need to 'prove' some extraordinary miracles. Though I did appreciate the young clergyman for that -- for his very very great sense of delight, wonder, whimsy, drawing connections, being so connected, so powerfully in tune, attuned -- ah, of course -- so beautiful --!

but for me -- oh darling, and all sorts of darlings really, some I love now, or have loved, or wanted to love, or wish to love -- isn't it just enough

here we are -- on this most beautiful day -- alive, sentient

tonight's dinner? leftover grilled cold salmon, 7-grain pilaf fortified with chicken stock and a spoonful of lentils for protein, since there isn't much salmon left, and mesclun mix, big handfuls on plates I've already laid out, and the salad dressing's done too...

many kisses
and I had a very lame CL coffee date this afternoon, that I could hardly wish to be over
the guy was alright, I suppose - but please, you won't win my heart by showing up with a decrepit smile and some horrible NY Yankees shirt, and baggy jeans

but the whole while I sat there trying to get through my iced coffee and making conversation with him
there was the tiniest little sparrow hopping about
very busily in this little outdoor cafe space
hoping for crumbs
so glad - in its moment, of which in its way it's fully aware -
to be alive

many kisses
you & you & you & you
love you all -- oh really truly

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Of course I'd like to nail that sexy guy, what are you kidding? Maybe he can respond to my post, no not this one. Maybe we can meet in the middle, G.B. and Lenox about a 45-minute drive...
The only man I've ever been attracted to, and he comes with a bloody contract, a flogger, and a whole world of issues. -- p. 176, Fifty Shades of Grey
Oh sweetheart, many kisses hello. I'm in a really good mood. I had the loveliest thoughtful message this morning from a guy in Holyoke, a CL acquaintance I've never met, and will never - we're not right for each other, but he's nice - and he's been looking at my blog, which I can tell from my statcounter, and I sent him a message this morning saying thanks for thinking of me, or of my blog, and in his reply he said straight off "I love your blog." Only the word 'love'? He put it in bold-face and in bright-red -- he bothered to go through all that -- it just made my day.

And now I'm back home from an afternoon of culture, a play followed by an operatic recital, at which I arrived a half-hour late, due to the play. Oh the two of us would have been great codemakers and codebusters -- I looked at the statcounter and instantly connected the dots --- and burst out laughing! Oh, I wish. Nice fantasy. I'll probably finish the James first, I'm afraid -- but I'll be thinking of you.

Oh dearest, okay let me settle down. I've changed out of my nice dress outfit, back in a slinky tee and panties as I type. I wonder if by his posting an overt, provocative post about his dom/sub proclivities, that Alpha had meant it as a way to let me know, sideways fashion, his true bent - that he's way more kinky than I think, than he was ready to divulge. And so possibly he let me know in this fashion? Because he yanked the post soon after, the day after - after I'd clearly discovered it. Though at the same time I doubt at this point that it's about me -- maybe a real live bona fide self-aware sub responded to his ad -- and well, yeah, he reeled in his fishing line, why ever not? I'll never know, I don't think.

Please forgive me this post, dearest(s), it's all over the place. I've just gotten up to fish around my bookshelves for my volume of Szymborska's poems in translation. Ah, here it is, and I turn to page 48, the poem Colaratura. Because I've just arrived back from the most delightful recital of an astonishingly talented, animated, lovely, high-spirited, virtuosic soprano, who celebrated her personal Polish-Italian heritage through a program of song, by the likes of Chopin, and Puccini. She was astonishingly good, such a privilege to hear her sing in this tiny room really, no more than a downstairs Victorian streetfront salon at the local Opera House, whose upstairs grand auditorium is in renovation. I had arrived late, as I mentioned, and slipped into my hard plastic seat, and was instantly transported. I know that it's sort of a cliche, and maybe it's not all about that, but I thought she was so great, so perfectly nailed high notes, sailed, jibbed, jagged, sallied, absolutely mellifluously and seamlessly, all the while so sparklingly 'on' -- that I wondered, now how is it that she's not at the Met, or La Scala, or wherever? Although - well, perhaps she is! I have the program tucked in my bag, with her bio, but haven't yet had a chance to read it. Still, you know what I mean -- she and her piano accompanist had taken the train upriver today ("oh that train ride - we were just clawing at the windows to get at the view" the amazingly charming colaratura enthused after her tiny Salon-style recital.

Ah, which brings me to the Szymborska... (I'll post only excerpts here, from pp. 48-49)


Poised beneath a twig-wigged tree,
she spills her sparkling vocal powder:
slippery sound slivers, silvery
like spider's spittle, only louder.


You want to silence her, abduct her
to our chilly life behind the scenes?
To our Siberian steppes of stopped-up sinuses,
frogs in all throats, eternal hems and haws,
where we, poor souls, gape soundlessly
like fish? And this is what you wish?

Oh nay! Oh nay! Though doom be nigh,
she'll keep her chin and pitch up high!
Her fate is hanging by a hair
of voice so thin it sounds like air,
but that's enough for her to take
a breath and soar, without a break,
chandelierward; and while she's there,
her vox human crystal-clears
the whole world up. And we're all ears.

Yes, darling, it was just like that, I wish you could have been there next to me, I would have squeezed your hand as we watched her sing and jiggle her black-lace gowned form jiggle in jolly, voluptuously clad bodily accompaniment, and watched her beautifully made-up face, complexion glowing, eyes shadowed, lips glossed, cheeks expertly rouged, as she trained her voice and used her beautiful face towards the most delightful, expressive, expression.

Ah, sweetheart, Szymborska I'm not. Oh right -- I think of her, because afterward I had a chance to overhear a conversation the young opera star was having at the very small, intimate gathering -- and I asked her, did I hear right? that someone composed music to Szymborska's poems, that you sang? Oh yes! she gladly told me, it was a single poem, Coloratura -- perfect!, I murmured -- [oh please darling, forgive me that bit of purple prose, Fifty Shades must be rubbing off -- hey, at least I didn't 'cock my head' -- which, in my scattershot fashion of reading that book, my eyes fall on that phrase more often than statistically valid). A composer friend of hers had composed music to go with the poem, which she sang. In Polish, I asked - in translation, she replied, saying that she enjoyed the many alliterative sounds in it -- she vocalized a series of ssssss - which were great fun for her to sing.

slipper sound slivers, silvery
like spider's spittle...

It was probably apropos of nothing, and perhaps a symptom of my pretentiousness, but I mentioned to her how I once heard that the Polish language is full of the sounds of falling leaves, full of murmuring, rustling, ch.. zh.. sh.. sounds

and Ty ... and ły...

pronounced, tih [as in tint] and wih [as in wind]...

which now I think of as the sound of sails on a small boat, flapping in the soft breeze, on just such a day as today was...

dearest love, here I am on this small boat at sea with you
all kinds of -- oh I want to say it in Polish -- but is całusy quite the word? perhaps it is -- or perhaps it connotes the sort of smacks bestowed on foreheads by relatives -- or in America, air-kisses, or in France, the double-cheeked busses

no, what I want from you, in the form of kisses, is way way stronger
the kind of kisses one employs like nails
to nail one's ---
well, you know, that amazing guy one for some weird reason has in one's sights
but is forever unattainable
for all kinds of reasons
because I'm not really a sub
and also because whatever you might think of my blog
I tend to stammer, just a bit
though never - oddly - while kissing - I'm certainly not a stammerer while kissing, though I might start slow, tentatively, as I explore, get to know...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hello darling, I am feeling much much better today psychically, just yesterday's wrenching development -- well, I'm over it, like a 24-hour bug. I mean, not entirely over it, but I have been taking all kinds of measures to heal and take care of myself quick. Went for a vigorous walk with weights in the morning. Did a workout - with weights and bands - to Charlie Rose. Françoise Gilot was on -- she was one of Picasso's mistresses, perhaps the only one he didn't utterly destroy -- she emerged so unscathed that she went on to be an artistic painter in her own right (though, I don't know, from an image I saw from between my legs as I did various squats & thrusts - her paintings, in their collage-like, tropical-hued, dark juxtapositions, reminded me of Matisse, and Gauguin). Could the art-historian John Richardson be more appallingly sexist and prejudiced in some of his pronouncements? Okay, he and C.R. both were fawning nauseatingly over the sharp-witted, shrewd, and indomitable Francoise (whose looks reminded, in her incredibly well-preserved and lively nineties, with perfect maquillage and becomingly dark-red-dyed hair -- of Wallis Simpson, had she lived so long (which evidently she did, very very long, though not, for many years, in the public eye. I read the most macabre book a year or two ago, about the Svengalian attorney who presided over the Duchess's last days --).

Oh right, so Richardson – trying offhandedly to pry answers to pressing biographical questions he had of her - which she instantly deftly sidestepped - innocent enough questions such as -- so did Picasso indeed have a volume of El Greco's paintings? Ms. Gilot was unable to commit to any such factually deposing question – and could not tell a lie -- and so she sidestepped it, since she didn't have a judge to order her to respond (certainly not in the form of C.R. in this particular interview, which was at least in part (even more so than ever) about flattering its participants, as if it had been a small table and the most amazing rendezvous at the beautiful restaurant in the West Sixties, with its fabled murals and Central European (or is it French?) cuisine, Café des Artistes...)

Oh right -- I'm so affronted & pained by it that I keep avoiding where I'm trying to go -- Richardson really so maligned Dora Maar that I stopped dead in my underwear-clad tracks in front of the small TV and said aloud to the screen -- wow, we're not too racist are we? Because for whatever reason (I imagine that obsequious deference to Françoise Gilot wasn't the origin of his scathing characterization) he described Dora Maar as having taken up with all kinds of Surrealist "monsters," absorbed their “depraved” ways, when Picasso first encountered her she was busy banging a knife rapid-fire between her fingers onto a café table, that she was -- oh how did Richardson put it?-- well, essentially (in his view) crazy, plus half-Yugoslavian (as if that explained it!), and after her liaison with Picasso, after which he dumped her -- became a crazy religious fanatic. Oh, and plus – not a single mention, in all of that, of her photography and art…

The toadying subtext, in Françoise Gilot's formidable presence?

(Formidable indeed. I'm blown away myself, and I'm sure C.R. was dying to ask her - but forbore - drawing on his (non-Yugoslav) fine breeding -- so, how did you meet Jonas Salk?)

… that none of the other women in Picasso's life -- not his first wife, Olga the Russian ballerina; not Marie-Thérèse, the not terribly bright ingénue; not Dora Maar, impassioned soul -- were nearly as worthy…

Gilot is shrewd, always has been.

But I'm with the crazy Yugoslavian. Though I am nothing like Marina Abramović.

yours, "Dora Maar"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Okay, this is an odd feeling - I'm sad and have no clue what to do with this feeling. I realize we haven't met, but I thought we had a free flowing exchange of thoughts, and then a complete separation. -- Message from Alpha to Belle, May 10
Well, touché, this time around I'm the one feeling sad, and stunned, and trying hard to get over this feeling as quickly as I can. Once again, I guess I'll have to sleep on it.

We had tentative plans to meet for a walk this morning, but he'd fallen ill this week, and late last night sent me a message saying that he still wasn't 100 percent and needed to cancel -- but in the same message asked me out for the same sort of date, a walk in the park, except for Saturday late afternoon or early evening. I received the message this morning, when I woke with total insomnia around five a.m. I responded, suggesting that if it worked for him, Sunday afternoon was better for me than Saturday -- reasons among them being that the park closes early, at 7 or 8; that afterward we wouldn't have any place private to go; and also that I needed to be well-focused for church the following morning. I suggested we take a walk Sunday afternoon, and that after that I could probably arrange to have the house to myself if he wished to come over. I noted that I didn't want to rule out Saturday, but maybe we could make it an early evening, if he didn't mind coming all the way down for just a short spell.

I hit send, my fingers hesitating over the keys. Even in my groggy state I had an uncertain, vaguely negative feeling about my message. Of course he'd like to be out on a date on Saturday night -- and here I am being not totally available (though I'd left an opening).

What I didn't mention in my crack-of-dawn message was that I know how I am these days – for several years now. At around five or six, the time we would have been meeting, I like to sit down with a glass of wine, and write a post to you. Also, I have a theatre ticket for a Saturday matinee, which probably wouldn't be over til about four, and probably I would be a bit tired from the day at that point, not entirely up for an active, "on!" date an hour or so after. No, I'd wish to come home, have my wine, write my thing, crash early feeling relaxed and not particularly jazzed about anything (or anymore conflicted than I already am, going to church, given the Bovaresque life I'm lamely leading), and have a relaxing Sunday morning capped by my very "on" performance as accompanist - at a special service with a guest minister, no less, this week. I take my gig there seriously - and I love it - but I hope I don't sound like a 'church lady' over it -- I'm far from that, I'm sure.

But I am a bit shy, a bit reticent, a bit cautious. Our first - well, not fight - but disagreement or misunderstanding, the one that caused Alpha to feel sad -- was that I reacted poorly to some rather dreamy but erotically forward epistolary ruminations on his part. We hadn't even met -- and I just wasn't ready to leap into figurative bed with someone off CL who not only I hadn't yet met, but if I did meet, might not even particularly like -- though I liked his writing voice, but we (that is, I) by this point know that there is a big difference between a writerly voice and a person's actual person.

So I hit ‘send’ at dawn, and went about my morning, checking now and then for his possible reply. At nine-thirty I went for a walk, stopping by the church to run through next Sunday's hymns, the list of which the Rev. M. had emailed me overnight. I got home around 11, and was a little surprised that Alpha hadn't responded, but - okay, whatever. He's gone off to work, he hasn't been feeling well, he has other obligations -- well, of course. Plus, maybe he's thinking about Saturday evening vs. Sunday afternoon... So okay, whatever, I'm relaxed, I'm good... I mean, either way, we'll get together, things are going so nicely between us...

I forgot to mention that in yesterday evening's message to me, he became quite sexually provocative in his imaginings again. Which didn't turn me off, exactly -- except that I already have this "Cordelia" theme going with him (what a very heavy-handed battleship of a metaphor). That basically, until I've really made out with him (okay, please pardon my possibly hopelessly out-of-date vocabulary), am certain that I wish to, and that I will continue to wish to -- I really don't feel like giving it all away in erotic epistolary fantasies. Which may sound weird coming from me. And it's not even a "policy" of mine. It's just that, if I don't feel it – and I mean really really feel it, towards him, or towards any man -- then I absolutely do not want to fake it. So, yeah, maybe that makes me a drag when I don’t respond in kind to his forays (in the vein of dom/sub type stuff, him directing me -- or was it me directing him? -- oh who knows, his message was a little confusing - I was supposed to ask him permission before I could cum -- oh fine, torture me already, I don't have an issue with that -- if you really know how to torture -- never mind asking permission, you will have me begging).

I'm probably missing a segue in here, but let me just leap ahead and say that for the ten days that Alpha and I have encountered each other (I answered his ad on May 7), including a lovely meeting on Sunday, after which I would have sworn we both emerged quite enthusiastic -- and by both I mean, he seemed to dig me, and I had to "sleep on it", but even before then as he hugged me goodbye, I went for a kiss on the lips, and he felt and tasted divine -- which was incredibly encouraging to me (because you know the really weird thing about the Hungarian from Schenectady? he didn't taste good -- and I mean literally, did not leave a good taste in my mouth, and the bad taste lingered for days, the two occasions, a week apart, that I had kissed him). So Alpha's kisses -- really nice!

Oh right, so for the past ten days, while I've glanced at CL listings in a desultory fashion, mostly out of habit, out of fascination, and for potential 'material' - I haven't responded to any other posts since Alpha and I connected, haven't looked at CL for that reason, and have felt, in the last few days especially, really happy not to be searching with that goal in mind.

So I hadn't heard back from him this morning, and my mind got to “wanderin'” and to “ponderin',” as it does (cue up that Laura Marling Brontë-esque song), and I remembered that in his original, rather lengthy CL post -- which I had found over the top but so appealing that I responded - he had mentioned that he wasn't interested in dating multiple partners and that if he met the right one (I'm totally paraphrasing here) he'd delete the post.

So Pandora wondered -- huh. Did he delete the post? So I went into CL. And actually, I didn't really expect to find the post deleted -- that takes quite a bit of affirmative "action" -- let those posts die their slow natural obsolescent deaths as they recede into deep dark prehistoric CL memory -- May 7 seems positively pre-Cambrian in the scale of time of a 'w' in search 4 men who write credible 'm4w' posts.

What I didn't expect? A brand-new post, different from Alpha's first, different in tone - darker, deeper, more direct - and content. All kinds of - well not 'gaydar' - but like that -- all kinds of radar went up in me absolutely in electrified porcupine form -- OMG -- it's him, I know it is!

Why is he posting? (alarm bells, whistles, fire horns) Didn't we have a great time Sunday? Haven't we been trying to make plans to meet again?

Are you telling me that in God's Perfect Plan [his theological theory, not mine] he was supposed to get this stupid intestinal bug that prevented us from meeting and having our SECOND amazingly wonderful kiss, but because of that we didn't, so things had to get bounced to Saturday evening, except that I'd rather meet Sunday afternoon -- oh, and it turns out --- how can it be that lightning strikes twice -- you're a DOM? In search of a sub?

Which I hardly even know what that means? On 'youp*rn' they don't even have a category -- believe me, I checked -- for BDSM, or dom/sub.

I'll tell you right now -- well, maybe I won't - yes I will -- I like to do it a hell of a lot more than I like to write about it. And that strikes me, actually, as a peculiarly 'sub' way to go --

oh grrrr I'm frustrated
sorry to end on -- well not a huge great punchline
hey I'm just typing here, not crafting a New Yorker story

oh -- and then --- right -- I drove up at lunchtime to the K'hook library, where I picked up Shades of Gray -- which I've already read (an hour later) four chapters of -- simply by reading a phrase or fragment of a sentence from roughly every other page. Because I wish to cut to the chase.

(Unlike the other totally lovely book that I am just so filled with joy and touched to read --- the memoir of a first-generation Jewish-European-American, who has the courage, and temerity, to delve into such acutely powerful and painful places, including in the company of his own father - and his son -- oh, truly, I am just marveling at that section, and wish so much -- well, no, not really I don't, I don't have it in me, I never did - it used to be put on me -- You Should Write The Story of Our Family -- and I never did, and I don't have the -- I'm stalled here for a word -- but you did, dear Prof. C.B. -- I really really relate to your story, where I've stopped, where I am -- you are an archaeologist - and - no not pottery -- poetry --- the letters are so similar)

So -- oh I hate the cellphone, and I have a crappy one. And Alpha and I have never talked on the phone. Until today. After my stop at the K'hook Library, with its faster downloads, I was able to retrieve his cell #, and would have liked to send him a text, but simply couldn't figure out how to do so from a computer. Right click onto his bright-lined number maybe - is that how it's done? the library computer didn't seem to allow for it.

I jotted down his number, left the library with Shades of Grey (Clerk: now you won't be able to renew it, it seems there are pending reserves. Me: don't worry I'm sure it's quite the page-turner.), dialed his number -- so motivated was I -- and made contact. Alpha was surprised to hear my voice. Let me pull over, was the last I heard - probably ever - of his voice. I hung on the line for a minute or two, waiting for him (in my mind's eye) to pull to the side of some major highway - and waited, phone pressed to my ear. Time passed, I looked at the phone, all dark – it had gone dead.

I called him back and left a message. Notably, Dear Reader: he didn't pick up.

Tried him again from reliable landline at home

Again Dear Reader [cue ‘sound of other shoe dropping’] -- no answer.

And so -- ah --- man, he has no idea what he's missing.

many kisses
this is, I suppose, a first draft
thus - unpolished
but all rights reserved (this for future lawyers,
haggling in my absence,
over my noncorporeality)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hello darling, yet another amazing Cary Tennis response that hit me right in the gut when I read it. Not so much the original letter itself -- and Cary seems to take the letter as a springboard and go off on a tangent, that may or may not directly relate to letter writer. No matter -- I strongly related to his take, and there were moments this morning afterward that I felt, do you know, just possibly I really might be getting past this, really way way past this, as in he's in the dust in the rear-view mirror. I used to care if I'd ever see him again, and I think I am at the point, or close to it, that I feel -- no, I don't, I don't care if I ever see him again, he wasn't worth it, it was an illusion, a lie, and for whatever reason I got sucked into it. I didn't know then -- how could I? -- how to judge people, especially men, what man, what boyfriend could be right for me, could be good for me. He was, as it turned out, psychically disastrous for me. But just the sort I suppose I was raised to expect to be my ideal attainment -- now, that was unconscious on my part, as Cary points out about the deep longings that seem to express themselves in lust but are about something else. Yes, I believe he's right -- certainly in as how I read his letter is how I find it applies to something I experienced.

That is the secret. You must get to know the values. Yes, I see that, and I have a good feeling about things, just maybe, a cross between the sun and the moon, if such a thing were possible -- sexy and good, warmhearted? I'm feeling uncharacteristically reticent... I don't know, I've said before that I might feel a need at some point to discontinue my blog. I'm not quite there yet, and yet I'm feeling pushed and pulled a bit in different directions, where suddenly blogging my heart might not be the thing I wish to do so much anymore. Maybe I'd just rather tell him -- if that's how things might go with us, it's too soon to tell, maybe, and yet, I find myself thinking. So what do you think?, he asked (or words to that effect), as we sat knee to knee on a bench in a private shaded courtyard, in the company of a companionably snoozing brown spaniel. I don't know, I have to sleep on it. And I did have to. At the moment I was sitting there with him, my knee aware of but sort of avoiding his knee, just a bit -- I just didn't know what might happen - might he kiss me there? But then the gallery owner came down, and goodness knows if there aren't spy cams around anyway, in such an enclosed private space --- well, anyone could walk off with one of the small, obscure, but rather charming oils hung on the wall.

Well, we'll see. This man is a self-described 'alpha,' and so far what I've seen, and heard about as he told me about his life, is a whole lot of warmth, and caring, and givingness. He's an 'alpha' - of course I believe that. But he's not the sort of 'alpha' - however sexually motivated I believe he is -- who's a power-player -- that is, a player. The man I may be meeting up with early in the morning tomorrow for a walk (I'll bring some plum cake, to go with that coffee!) - if he's feeling better - he's been waylaid by a bug, I hope very fervently not from what I discovered to be horrifically unsanitary conditions when I in all innocence excused myself from the table only to find -- well, I've been haunted by that awful image, so I won't inflict it on you. I've always been squeamish, and it doesn't make me feel happier that one of the waitstaff was the one who - upon my sounding of the alarm - appeared with a plunger.

Anyway, I'm just tapping my fingers here, hoping - I don't know, that it all works out. That the good guys win.

Beautiful afternoon, rather warm and humid. I'm in a slinky tee and panties, sipping from an icefilled glass. A beautiful session this morning - maybe beautiful isn't the adjective - powerful, effective -- and afterwards I showered & washed my hair, which air-dried in soft 'Slavic Venus'-like waves before I took a brush to it and finished styling with the blow drier. Oh, and before all that, I woke very early this morning, before six, and got up, and by eight in the morning already had taken up a hem of one of my dresses -- much improved, that shorter length. And I went food shopping, and I've got a book on reserve waiting for me - that tout Armonk is reading, you know, the one about the dom and the sub, or is it the Alpha with the alpha -- whatever. I'm going to have to run up to Kinderhook tomorrow. The regional library system must have purchased way more copies of that book (whose title offhand I don't even recall) -- Gray something? Or is that the name of the male character? Well here in Gray Gardens I'll be very interested to take a peek -- and if I don't like it -- find it too tame, after all the youp*rns I've been slow-downloading and perusing with my readers on as if doing any other kind of perfectly on the up-and-up research of any other sort -- then I'll return it. Because when I had first reserved it, maybe six weeks ago, there were something like 76 holds on the 1st returned of some 3 copies in the entire mid-Hudson system! So -- it better be good. And I will continue reading the book that I'm currently reading too... though it's due Friday, and I tried to renew it, but the system wouldn't allow me to -- there's a pending reservation - someone else would like to read it too - not, obviously, from having read and decoded cryptic aside comments about it from me, since I rarely even link to the book -- perhaps it was the favorable Times review, which in fact I'd discovered post facto...

Anyway, that's that dearest, for now -- the most wonderful aroma of an Asian-styled (fusion?) vegetable & shrimp stir fry/sauté, wafting up the stairs -- seasoned with sesame oil, red curry paste, garlic and ginger, and soy sauce -- that's okay - isn't it?

Very many kisses
warm, as ever
no - I mean, warmly best, ever yours
oh never mind all that ---

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hello dearest, up in the aerie, and have already shut the flame from under the basmati, so that I don't get so caught up in posting that I forget all about it and it burns. Burnt rice isn't delicious at all, the acrid flavor permeates through the white, even as I've scraped away all the black bits, and then there's the loathsome chore of charred pot to scrub -- ah! so none of that, this evening. No, things are smooth sailing for an Indian-style meal, chicken seasoned with garam masala, yogurt, and cilantro. I was super double if not triple productive this morning. I had a whole chicken cut-up, marinaded the dark meat pieces in the spice mixture for dinner, and roasted the breasts with a bit of tarragon, sea salt, and fresh pepper, to have with salad for lunch. And I made croutons, from half a baguette that we hadn't quite gotten around to eating -- just as well! It was a boring supermarket loaf, but cut into small pieces, spread on a baking sheet and tossed with some EVOO, sea salt, pepper, minced garlic, and dried basil -- heavenly topping for a salad - probably tomorrow's lunch, with that second chicken breast.

I'm just typing here, not much to report. Read a few more pages of my book -- oh, I love Linzer cookies too, and wish I could have visited Cambridge, MA many years sooner -- to experience the "Window Shop" restaurant & bakery, with its Austrian delicacies -- than I did, my first time there being about 1977. I do remember, from that time, a Germanic restaurant that had over 100 (or even more) bottled beers from around the world. I loved spending time, when in my spare time in college I could take the T or a bus there, in Harvard Square, which truly did seem like the 'hub of the universe' to me. I loved hanging out smoking, reading, drinking cappuccinos at the Algiers Cafe, a cozy subterranean hangout with colorful mosaic tiles & mirrored surfaces, and tiny wobbly wooden tables. Last time I was in Cambridge -- several years ago now -- the cafe was still there, I hope it still is. Another favorite place for me to go, back at that time, was Grendel's Den, a fresh-food sort of restaurant, with an extravagant, delicious salad bar -- which seems so old-hat now, maybe, but for me, to sample chick peas, and sprouts, and even varieties of lettuce other than iceberg, plus blue cheese, and olives, and raisins - what, raisins on a salad? - and a myriad of other goodies -- nuts, seeds, feta, yogurt, and all the rest -- oh I loved it! I'd grab a glass plate and load up, and I think - though you paid by the plate - you were allowed seconds - or maybe I just, with my student's budget, loaded up my single plate in a food pyramid of sorts. It was great fun. I loved going there. It was so festive, such a colorful crowd, and they played wonderful music, a lot of Ella Fitzgerald -- also so very new to me at that time!

Ah, but alas Grendel's is no more, not for a number of years now -- that loss, I did feel acutely, when I visited Cambridge and discovered that it had been replaced by -- well, I'm not even sure what now, I don't recall, and no matter, because it may have been replaced yet again. And goodness knows, the building itself - a capacious old clapboard sided rambling inn of a place, has, with its deep front yard, in prime real estate, been replaced.

So -- still, I love Linzer cookies, the combination of walnuts, cinnamon, and raspberry jam. And I was very excited when, a few times, I've made my own -- and there is something very distinctive, and delicious, about that combination of flavors -- oh, and plus the confection is dusted with confectioners sugar, of course.

And that's it for now, darling, it's such a peaceful hour, very gray out, after quite a bit of rain, very welcome. I look forward to dinner, and tomorrow I have a project set out for myself - taking up the hems of a couple of summer dresses I recently bought, which I really like -- but realized, and it became crystallized to me as I was doing my workout to a Dr. Oz that if the hem is much below the knee it can be frumpy -- and indeed, I wore one of the dresses the other night, and I did inexplicably, couldn't figure it out, feel a bit frumpy. Well now I know why, and I'm equipped with tape measure, and straight pins, and experimentation with finding just the right length, at the knee...

and I look forward very much to a morning coffee date I will have in a couple of days -- no, not a first coffee date -- a second! Isn't that exciting? He brilliantly suggested an early morning walk, do I know of a park, he'll bring the coffee, and yes!- I know just the place...

many kisses