Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dear love, back in the aerie, after such a lovely day, full of wonderful moments and impressions. Before I forget, I just want to say how much I'm enjoying this book -- the wonderful, wholly unexpected, leaping yet entirely plausible, loving, heartfelt connections the author makes, as he travels around the world, and in his mind, and in the past, in quest of himself, his ancestry, places in his ancestral past perhaps his deep self remembers, and geographic places such as Japan, that his corporeal self most definitely does, that connects with the clay in - now is it North, or South Carolina? Please don't make me look it up. And I loved the periodic table that his father created. How cool is that? I had never seen it before. Might I have done better in tenth grade chemistry had I not had the usual lugubrious chart in the fluorescent lit space presiding gap-toothed, or like a cryptic eye chart, over the beaker-laden lab? Nah, probably not. I was always an English major at heart. Still -- I'm enjoying the book -- very much, even if I just read a few pages at a time -- but -- oh what pages! And I'm very surprised, and charmed, to learn that the author is about to travel to Berlin (which his father had left, under adverse circumstances, at age 11, in 1936) with his now elderly father, and with his young, eleven-year-old son. And I have yet to learn (tomorrow!) what surprise, in the psychological trap of sorts he'd set to capture his father, he ends up finding of himself. Anyway --- a really lovely read, and I'm enjoying the personal, not meanderingness of it exactly -- but a sense of how this mind, wonderfully associative, works.

It was just the most delightful day, all in all. Church went beautifully -- I played soft peaceful hymns -- "gathering" music, as the Rev. Mother described this shocking - yet welcome & soothing - innovation to the congregation; and after the service, launched into a "postlude" -- a couple of rousing movements, on organ whose loud volume I'm unable to modulate, of Handel's Water Music -- which I hope launched everyone out onto the most beautiful summery day, as I'm sure it did. Certainly, it did me. I love that piece, and I love when it's played off the cuff, such as the way I did today. Or I remembered back when I was in grade school, or a little older, involved somehow with a one-off pick-up "all-city" orchestra on a summery day just like today, and all these strangers and I playing -- perhaps the very same suite, in the open air of whatever asphalted high-school space that was -- I don't remember the details, just the absolute joy of all these wonderful instruments - haltingly, yet somehow surely, playing the notes (which aren't so hard) and them all melding however improbably (as an orchestra we were perhaps not unlike that of an adolescent boy's voice cracking) flying into the charmed air of a spring schoolday outdoors, and up into the great blue ether.

I returned home, around 11, and knew I had a couple of hours before my date would pick me up. So believe me I got busy. And stripped down at first to my underwear, then ditched that, and scrubbed and washed everything I could -- both baths, the kitchen sink, did a bit of vacuuming, snipped lilacs for vases, dusted. OMG --- total speed housecleaning. Which - may I say? -- is the best way to do it, absolutely. I didn't hem & haw over it endlessly, stretching the chore. I mean, I still have vacuuming to do -- but for the most part the house is quite presentable. And I had a total treat -- carrot of sorts, or motivator in that -- oh I have to at least clean the baths because he's coming over and what if he needs to pee, well at least that much has to be done. He didn't - when he finally arrived, and I (calmed down, and freshly showered, spritzed with perfume, made-up, and nicely dressed greeted him) when I showed him around the house and pointed out the upstairs bath, remarked of it, "not renovated - but freshly scrubbed."

And then he & I headed into town, and it was around lunchtime, and I had one of my half-price certificates to the local Swoonery, and neither of us was hungry just then - the original idea had been just to have coffee - but I knew that if I didn't have something a bit more substantial at some point - well, I would just want to, I wouldn't last. It turned out to be the most delightful, refreshing, relaxing hour - or maybe it was even two. He and I were there a while. We had decided to share a couple of tiny appetizers -- a cheese plate, comprised of the teeniest samples of three different regionally-produced cheeses, and a duck-liver mousse pate plate - that came not with cornichons, but with a pinkish shredded cool accompaniment, that neither of us could figure out -- cabbage? onion?

Oh anyway, I savored a glass of white wine, and all the while as we tore off the teeniest bits (Charlie Bucket style) of at first warm baguette and cold butter, then this hard bit of cheese, or that mystery soft one from Cohoes, and penetrated the layer of duck-fat that topped the miniscule terrine that housed the delectable pate. Oh my goodness darling -- you would be amazed. Because normally, I am the biggest quaffer and devourer and watching a few minutes of 'Modern Family' on Netflix as I inhale my breakfast.... it is amazing that he and I -- talking, talking, listening, talking, conversing, in utter charmed solitude, at this small table by a wall, in the back of the lightfilled room -- made those teeny morsels last as long as we did!

Afterward we strolled up Warren Street, and we stopped into one gallery, at the back of which I know is a tiny magical courtyard, and a very intriguing back multi-storied gallery building -- which I'd wanted to show my date. But the back building, with its brick-clad multistoried lightfilled gallery spaces, the floors connected by ancient narrow iron staircases -- wasn't set to open for another two weeks, as we learned from the charming gallery owner, whose dog's name is -- oh dear, I've forgotten the dog's name, not Alfie, but close. Anyway, the most adorable dog ever. But my date and I found - in this gallery courtyard - an accommodating bench, nestled in the quiet private shade of not only two charming venerable old buildings, but a pair of ancient, now greenly leafed out trees -- improbable in that very constricted rather shaded space -- the two of us, he and I below, as we looked up at the trees... And so we sat and talked, and the charming ancient dog, who so loved the sound of human voices, came downstairs and settled by us and dozed, keeping us company as we conversed, began to learn about each other's stories...

And we talked and talked and talked, the dog so lovingly enamored and soothed by the sound of human voices... and the proprietor came down and in some anteroom busied himself - turning on a light, and then when he was done - shutting it off. And so I (myself) felt a bit chased out of Eden -- as much as the proprietor himself assured us, when we emerged upstairs (from the below-grade lovely shaded courtyard) to return to the street from the lovely gallery storefront -- oh you could have stayed there as long as you wanted, my turning out the light didn't mean anything. We thanked him warmly and cordially, and left - back onto magical lively Warren Street, so many people out on this beautiful day, restaurants in full swing, sidewalk cafes...

I really wish to thank the proprietors of whoever it is, or whichever businesses -- and certainly that one gallery where the proprietor, with his ancient loving brown dog -- thought to place welcoming, commodious benches. When my date companion this afternoon instantly spotted another one, on the sidewalk --- he and I sat back down, and continued our beautifully peripatetic conversation (don't forget how stationary at first it had been, two hours over the teeniest bits of cheese, halved and halved and halved again -- Xeno's paradox style!) --

I don't know -- I'll leave it at that -- as pretty much he & I did

and we'll see

but -- oh well, no but, but no great finish either
I'm happy to be here dressed (still) in my "Dora Maar" outfit
formfitting, elegant, and very comfortable

I don't know how to finish this --
I love you - - I had a wonderful day --
here we are!
I hope you've had a wonderful day too
and oh -- let me just put my arms around you
more please - more

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