This letter will be in two parts because I am headed to the Berkshires today for a wedding and I need to get Ollie out for a big walk before I go. But, I wanted to write now, from here, in this moment because it is luscious. And that, for me, is why I journal, scribble, etc– to record the light, the feeling, the deliciousness of it all.
Yes, it is early November but when you wrote “an absolute gem of an early-November day, doing her best impression of late-September” I was like, YES. Here, too. Beach day yesterday— walking around in a t-shirt and savoring every bit all the while knowing the world is changing.
Yesterday it was snowing in Seattle.
Global warming, fascism, reality show hosts as sitting presidents — we are living through some truly wild and rocky times— and I am beyond happy that you want to embark upon a letter exchange as if I were squirreled away in a beguinage while you are living large in Florence, Italy despite the political raging between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Because really, do human beings not endlessly create the same ridiculous, absurd battles– while some of us are just trying to enjoy the movie that is this extraordinary planet? (You see the parallel between Europe in the 1200s and today, right? And if we were there, you would totally be some kind of marquise wearing exquisite gowns with masses of roses blooming around every window while I’d be living the monk’s life in Belgium somewhere, harvesting my cabbages in my linen tunic). Ha.
You asked if I get syndrome de la feuille blanche — I don’t. I think it’s the result of writing every day of my life— my 10,000 hours are in. Gabbing a pen and scribbling is far more natural and comfortable to me than most anything. The one time I had what I would call a big “pause” was last summer when I was at that arts residency. I had been accepted based upon a book I proposed to begin writing there. And then, after the cars, trains, buses, taxis and airplanes to get me to that chair in Arizona where I was going to finally write this book— there was a deep pause. What the hell was I writing about?
It wasn’t a great feeling. It was that moment right before you are about to jump out of a plane because you thought it would be a real high, a really great idea but then when you are actually standing on the edge of the door being buffeted by wind, sky and terror— all you can think is I am fucking insane– who would ever think this is a good idea?
Fortunately for me, my most daring feats have never involved bodily harm. I tend toward the emotional terrain for the life-expanding challenges.
All of which to say– once I had figured out a jumping off place for the book, I was good to go.
In this moment, now. Sitting in my white chair in the living room of my home– candle burning– vetiver, clary sage and wild orange in the diffuser. Earlier I got to see the most fat, gorgeous, full moon sitting low in the sky– she was lustrous against a soft blue with bits of pink gauzy cloud drifting just beneath her. Ollie and I were out for is early morning constitutional and the sun had just come up. I live on top of one of the seven hills* of Providence so in my neighborhood some of the streets drop off steeply and as we came across the back lot of one of my favorite alleyways the street dropped open and there she was– huge, perfectly full, filling the entire vista with her magnificence.
It’s the kind of thing I can never photograph— I’ve long since given up. I simply sink into the beauty– the living, breathing beauty of it and carry it with me into the house. And I feel like that is what I do all day long, find the beauty and find the beauty — moment to moment and it is so delicious. So that’s why I wanted to begin my response to you now. I wanted to write from this feeling. I don’t know where I will be later. Heading to a wedding where I will know exactly one person: the bride. That isn’t stressful at all– tu blagues. It most definitely was for me, but then I got my head around it. Here’s how I’m gonna cope: I’m just gonna show up and pretend I am some kind of sociologist like Margaret Mead and I am there to gather data on the habits of Brooklynites spending a weekend in the mountains of western Massachusetts.
Okay. Must stop here and go throw something to wear in a weekend bag and hit the road.
a toute a l’heure.
*Yes– just like Rome. Ha.
Gah. My brain feels like the out of focus mishmash above — which is not the fault of that sweet shop in Great Barrington where I got a wonderful letterpress card of a bat with the words ‘so misunderstood.’ Weird fact: I have such reverence for bats– ever since a trip to Austin, TX but that’s a story for a different day– and I do feel they get such a bad rap which makes me sad. The card is so perfect. My plan is to frame it. Anyway–
I got back from the wedding yesterday (which was so full of heart and family! just so brimming with all the feelings) and this morning I am completely in a funk. Dang. I hate that.
I have no idea why except I feel like life has been one thing after the next these past few months — all really good like getting to hang with YOU in Paris. I mean, come on– the idea that I am even going to kvetch about a scattered head and a sense of feeling ungrounded when I’m the one who keeps packing my bags– gotta let that go.
But, the truth is– when I got your letter I was so fired up to tell you everything but had no time and now, I have neither time nor mojo. So– this is the missive. This is my life. It’s Monday. Totally gray. The first real day of full on New England gray November. But I do have one fabulous thing to share with you. This youtube video below. For me, this woman mocking the girls who do these make-up tutorials online is pure inspiration. It is powerful, brilliant and hilarious.
It gives me faith that Durga is on her way to save us.