Gardening out back finally growing fruitful - ah!
There’s a bugler who has begun to play “Taps” across Prince Avenue every night at ten. That lovely brassy tone of his instrument cuts easily across the little-trafficked street and through the bamboo in my backyard on these early summer nights. It’s become one of those comfortable sounds now that I know when to expect it. I believe he’s a real man - the bugler, that is - for I hear him warming up sometimes earlier in the evening.
A warm meal of parmesan ravioli, swiss chard from my parent’s garden, some toasted sourdough on the side, and a chilled double cream stout are working on feeding an appetite that’s finally starting to make a reappearance. The temperature could not feel more perfect. I’ve got candles lit and placed in glass jars to keep the bugs away and add to the delicate glow of the lights strung across my porch. This is summer, and I feel so at peace with the night. Can you hear all those crickets? The noise from Prince? The dog barking next door? The dog barking back a few houses down? The growl of the neighbor’s AC unit that just kicked off? The train that’s making its way out of Athens to the east? This is peace. This is everything right now, and it fits.
I think a friend and I finally reached a place of resolution tonight. Closure was the term first used, but I think we’ve reached a state more balanced than finished. I’m not yet sure how the rest of this year should go, but I’ve already started generating plans again, which is something new to the agenda of these past few months. I feel more like myself, and I have confidence it’s going to last.
We’re terribly delicate, aren’t we? I’m one of the lucky ones, my family more beautiful than you can possibly imagine. The bugler should be playing reveille for me tonight, but I may just have to wait until morning. Until then, goodnight, all.
If I needed another excuse for why I’ll never be hip, I found it yesterday in Little Five Points. Thanks to a brand new pair of very old leather boots, I stand a better chance of personifying that vintage-tinged class of collegiate aesthetic I so cherish. Don’t worry, it should wear off soon (though I’ll swear now that the brilliance of the form will remain unchecked by any temporal fluctuations and restraints).
The lovely bit is the feel of wear; the shoes fit like a glove (like shoes?), but the previous owner wore her boots much differently than I would ever wear mine. Where the soles run thin, I notice the comfortable loss in the middle because I place my weight on my heels, where these boots still remain solid. It’s the idea that I’ve taken someone else’s most foundational possession, the thing that keeps one grounded and at the same time protected from those grounds, from those elements most base. It’s… ah, it’s the fatigue talking, but it’s intimate. Intimate in the manner of, or to the same stability that, the worn soles of these shoes could ever offer. It’s nice.
My first pair of borrowed shoes - at twenty, no less! I’ve no claim to knowing this business.
In my household, we watch the rain as if we were watching a movie. We turn the lights down, open the windows, grab our tea and chocolate, and sit down with our favorite pillows to enjoy the show. Mood lighting grâce à some string lights, the roommates’ cats jump between the different sills, and I return to some Connecticut yankee’s exploits in medieval Britain.
Music just loud enough to make everyone speak up a bit, the café-bar getting slightly more conversational, and outside the neon lights of the burger joints warming up as the windows of the dress boutiques lose life. Broken Social Scene shifts into a more familiar Black Angels bit.
Backs of heads and slivers of smiling, concerned, laughing faces greet me from over the walls of wooden booths. The lights dim just when you think they couldn’t have lowered any further. It’s a scene mixed with as much dialogue as isolation, but the headphones are transitioning into shared beers. Heading home on a much-saturated Spring day in Athens.
But indeed I might as well have essayed to strike fire with my knuckles against a bit of Windsor soap.
Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street, Herman Melville
Sunny days mean open windows, Joni Mitchell, and a little cleaning up after reading my Faulkner out on the porch. For a treat, go look up Hipgnosis, the artist cooperative to which we owe that fantastic 10cc album cover. Hipgnosis (hip + gnosis) built up quite a portfolio working with covers in the 70s and early 80s - thanks, guys. Oh, and Betty, my roommate’s nosy cat. She can hear out of both ears, but she never listens.
Bringing out the camera always makes lunch more exciting. Photo shoot in Athens with a grilled gouda on wheat, spiced up with thyme, cracked pepper, curly greens, and roasted nuts. Yoghurt with jam brought back from a Montana farmer’s market and homemade granola. Over-indulgent cream soda on the rocks just for kicks. Served outside under a bamboo copse.
So I think we’re all just looking for the pieces of the lives we want to live, and we hope we can gather enough of the right scraps of paper, colors of paint, shards of glass and tesserae, bits of wood and stone to make the picture believable, believable to others and, more completely, to ourselves. It can never really be whole, this picture, but we know that. We’re reaching for as close as we can get without settling, and people really put together some beautiful images; sometimes they even create something really original. Look for the frames first, and then let yourself be surprised by what they’ve set right next to that frame. What they might have placed right outside. What’s really something is when you realize you’re glancing at the whole of human art, the entire picture, everyone’s portrait placed alongside, overlapping each other, and knowing in that glimpse that you’ve managed to catch an illustration is no artifice. You see instead, for an instant, that map, enormous and with no conceivable boundaries, that leads closer and closer to what we’ve all been creating for ourselves for millennia; something not wholly achievable - but we know that.
It’s finding religion in all of that that polishes the night.
Dewy daydreams and legal studies…
An hour devoted to Miles Davis and my lungs this morning, braving the brisk weather for a nice run. Being at a loss for current photos as well as warmth, I’m remembering delightful mornings from this past summer… solitude after visiting a farmer’s market on the Mediterranean and collecting wild chamomile for tea in Montana…
Remembering faces glimpsed through the sheltering arms of the forest…
To find words. Any word will do.
It might be troubling .. . sinking buoyant .. round
brimming spilling .. .
Let them gather. I have paper and I have a wall. Send me a jewel or two, will you?
The aggregative properties of it all astound me. Let the accumulation begin.
Currently held together quite well by fragments of paper, inked stars, and French poetry. The best lines, the best words, are scattered on the tabletop, to reach my walls later this evening. The rain outside as pleasing as ever.