Friday, August 27, 2010

A Passing

our memorial garden where I sit and knit and watch the passing shadows

It never really changes in the Adirondacks, though summer concedes, early, to fall, and then all goes to cold, and snow, and howling winds...and back again. The samenesses of Julys and Augusts for all the generations I can think of and all those to come...tart blueberries dropping in a pail held by some child or other, startling fragrance of the lemon lilies, glinting sharp sun darts caught in the little ripples of a little lake...and mountains, soft and primeval, sloping from sky to water as great sleeping beasts might, in a dream of great beasts.

Late August is often a sad time for me. The crows fly low, muted. The dark, though not bitter yet, comes sooner each day, minute by lost minute. Leaves fall through the raindrops, bright and dead...

And my little girl grows up, and summer ebbs in diffuse light through ancient pines, that were here before me and will be here still, long after I'm gone.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Baby Carriage

Mom in the baby carriage, 1945
click to enlarge

I played sometimes on the fifth floor of the Castle, high above the streets of Brooklyn, in the old servants' quarters.

Sometimes I lit a ghost fire in the long-unused fireplace there, kneeling at the marble hearth to warm myself in its phantom flames.

I peeked into the bathroom, at the enormous claw-foot tub under a steeply slanting ceiling, or into the china storage room, where I liked to imagine the sound of dinner parties, the laughter and conversation, the clink of glass against glass.

I would dare myself to enter the trunk room, a dark interior closet filled with the luggage of long-ago trips--many steamer trunks, their brass fittings blinking in the sudden light.

And it was there I discovered the derelict baby carriage, and filled it with the toys of another childhood, and tended them: the celluloid-faced Humpty-Dumpty, his stripy legs uselessly dangling; the dusty Steiff dogs, a Boxer and an Airedale; the naked baby doll, its two tiny pearly teeth and eyes that opened and shut, eerily, on clever hinges...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I like cream in my coffee, and I like to sleep late on Sunday, and I like eggs over easy, with flour tortillas

Well, really I prefer whole milk in my coffee, and egg white omelets with feta cheese, and I like to wake up early on Sundays so that I can have a minute to myself before the house begins its hum all around me. But I do like warm flour tortillas, and I love Lyle Lovett.

My friend Murali, at Miscellany of Me (an aesthetically beautiful blog that is just so inspiring) has asked me to come up with 10 things I like. Simple enough, no?

1. My new blonde hair, which makes me feel sneaky, like I'm dissembling to the world. But I realized I'm just far too real a person, and I have to strive to be more false.

Frowny blonde me

2. The sight of Hedgehog, swimming in the lake, wearing homemade crowns and bracelets of watery lake ferns.

3. The prick of tears in my eyes

4. When my sister and I are chatting and we realize we sound like a scene from a Woody Allen movie.

5. When Sarge embraces me and kisses me and then Hedgehog and Remus both try to force their way in.

6. rescue dogs

7. stargazing

8. dirty jokes

9. Cannabis Rose perfume

10. ice in bed on a hot summer night

and p.s. I am sorrier than sorry that I cannot easily get out and about to visit many of you--the internet connection in the North Country really is infernally touch and go...